Ohio Democratic gubernatorial field complicates strategies

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CINCINNATI (AP) – The entry this week of the former federal consumer watchdog into Ohio’s 2018 governor race has swelled the current field to at least six Democratic candidates, setting up what could be the largest gubernatorial primary battle in six decades.

That came after Republicans trimmed their slate by merging two campaigns to leave three announced candidates for governor.

The large field could affect strategies as Democrats battle ahead of a general election in which they’ll try to turn a GOP tide. Republicans dominated the last two state office election years and Donald Trump then decisively carried the swing state last year.

While Richard Cordray is generally now considered the Democratic front-runner, splitting resources and votes six ways complicates strategies. Veteran strategist Jerry Austin expects the field to thin, though.

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