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Published: Monday, 12/30/2013

Cincinnati-area official plans to explore bid for Ohio governor, would be 2nd Democrat in race


CINCINNATI — A Cincinnati-area Democrat says he plans to run for Ohio governor, which would set up a Democratic primary with the county leader from Cleveland.

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune tells The Cincinnati Enquirer he wants to enter the race because, in his words, “there needs to be a choice.”

Democrats have set their sights on taking back the governor’s office from Republican John Kasich in 2014, but a primary could be costly for the party and the candidates.

The 55-year-old Portune spent the last two decades as a Cincinnati city councilman or Hamilton County commissioner. He says he’ll travel throughout Ohio next month to gauge support before deciding whether to file as a candidate.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has been considered the Democrats’ presumptive gubernatorial nominee.

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