- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The (Findlay) Courier, Feb. 6

Once again, last-minute maneuvering by the two major political parties will result in a “primary-free” gubernatorial election for Ohioans.

That’s too bad. In a state nearly split between conservatives and liberals, voters should have a say when picking a party’s candidate for such an important statewide race. More often, it’s state party leaders, not voters, who decide which candidate progresses to the fall election.

Contested primaries had once looked like a possibility in this year’s governor race for both Republicans and Democrats.

But the GOP primary ticket was cleared for Gov. John Kasich, who will be seeking a second term, when Ted Stevenot, a tea party favorite, dropped out less than a week after he had thrown his hat into the ring….

Democrats, too, had been staring at a primary matchup, until last Friday.

That’s when Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune withdrew his bid to go head-to-head against Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

Both Portune and Stevenot have since suggested they would have liked to have taken their campaigns a step farther, but were not encouraged to by officials in their respective parties.

That’s not surprising. The clearing of the gubernatorial ticket before a primary is long-established political strategy.

Party leaders like to avoid first-round fights which can divide the base. Granted, Portune or Stevenot may not have had a realistic chance of winning their respective party’s nomination in May, but they may have broadened the discussion….

Unfortunately, voters will only get to weigh in once, not twice.

Online: http://bit.ly/1ggc0Fu

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The (Youngstown) Vindicator, Feb. 7

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