Politics State senator looks ahead to 2014 elections By Spencer Cappelli Posted on December 6, 2013 4 min read 0 0 579 Taking advantage of the crowd in Baker University Center for a “Ready for Hillary 2016” event last week, one state legislator stressed the importance of a relatively more salient and timely issue than the 2016 presidential election—the rapidly approaching Ohio gubernatorial elections. Sen. Lou Gentile—himself not a stranger to Ohio University events in recent weeks—spoke both fervently and candidly about what he deemed as the need for a change of leadership at the gubernatorial level in 2014. “We’ve got to get him out in 2014, and we’ve got a great ticket to do it,” Gentile said of incumbent Republican Gov. John Kasich. “We have got to do everything we can to get this governor out of office.” Gentile cited numerous grievances with Kasich’s administration that he felt only further legitimized his own party’s efforts to put a Democratic governor in the statehouse in 2014. “Since day one when this governor entered into the statehouse, he’s been focused on the White House, and it’s been an absolute disaster for working class Ohioans, especially in southeastern Ohio,” Gentile said. The senator—who on Wednesday announced his acceptance of the position of assistant minority whip for the state senate Democratic caucus via a Facebook post—continued his condemnation of Kasich’s administration by additionally labeling the governor’s pervasive attitude as “downright mean-spirited.” Gentile also expressed great optimism with respect to the chances of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald in his bid for the state house next fall. “I think if I were the incumbent governor, I would be more concerned with where I’m at today,” Gentile said. “I think Fitzgerald will have ample name recognition by 2014, and he has a really good shot at winning that election.” Fitzgerald, who currently serves as the first County Executive of Cuyahoga County, will be joined by running mate for lieutenant governor Eric Kearney. Kearney himself made news in his own right recently when reports of his outstanding unpaid federal and state tax debt came to light. It is not yet certain what the most recent revelations will spell out for the Democratic ticket, although speculation with respect to a possible restructuring swirled around the web earlier this week. Phone calls to the governor’s office for comment on the status of his own campaign were not immediately returned. The governor himself has not yet offered any official recognition of his Democratic opponent.