Well, that ended quickly. From the Plain Dealer’s Henry Gomez:
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ted Stevenot, a Tea Party leader who plotted a primary challenge to Republican Gov. John Kasich, has abandoned his bid before it ever really began.
The businessman from the Cincinnati area had announced late Wednesday that he would declare his candidacy next week. But in an an email sent late Saturday night by a supporter, he canceled that event and said he has decided against a bid for governor.
“Though my running mate Brenda Mack and I have received a tremendous outpouring of support and encouragement since that announcement, I have decided not to run for governor at this time,” said Stevenot, a former president of the Ohio Liberty Coaliton.
Stevenot, had he gone through with his plans and submitted enough valid signatures, would have been the first formal primary challenger to a sitting governor since 1978. Questions about his candidacy surfaced quickly, though, as a conservative blogger backing Kasich and other journalists unearthed financial problems in running mate Mack’s past.
We were the first to report the story of Mack’s tax problems on Thursday night. Joe Vardon of the Columbus Dispatch published a report later that evening with other details including IRS judgments and Mack’s problems in Cuyahoga County.
Stevenot claims that his decision to back out has nothing to do with the news we uncovered Thursday night.
My decision was not based on any concerns about my running mate, Brenda Mack, for whom I have tremendous respect and admiration.
However, after much personal thought, as well as in depth discussions with family, friends, and advisors, I have made the decision to withdraw my candidacy for governor.
He doesn’t really give an actual reason for withdrawing. And seeing that it’s coming 48 hours after the news broke, his statement raises more questions than it answers.
He had in depth discussions with his family…AFTER announcing to the entire state that he was running? Isn’t that something you should do first?
It has been a rough week for the OLC. First they were caught red-handed lying in a fund-raising email and forced to issue a correction. And now their biggest goal of the 2014 campaign has fizzled out after just a few days.