Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said Tuesday that he not seeking election for Governor of Ohio in 2014.
Strickland released the following statement:
"In many ways, this has been a very difficult decision. I look back fondly on my time as Ohio's 68th Governor –and am proud of my Administration's efforts to guide our state through the greatest national economic crisis since the Great Depression. With the help of my First Lady -- Frances Strickland-- my dedicated and loyal Cabinet, and my incredibly hard-working Executive Staff, we held the ship steady. With the help of President Obama, who provided the funds necessary to keep Ohio and all of America from slipping into another Great Depression, we were able to preserve the social safety net, make important investments in education, and position Ohio's economy for the recovery that started in February 2010.
"And when I look back on my four years as Governor, I am equally proud of those in the Strickland Administration who served the public with honor, integrity, and humility. We sought to make Ohio better."
So far, incumbent Gov. John Kasich is the only name in the race.
Kasich, a former investment banker and congressman, unseated Strickland as he sought a second term in 2010. It was among the most expensive governor's race in Ohio history, with combined spending approaching $34 million.
Strickland's decision leaves Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan among the top potential Democratic challengers to Kasich next year.
FitzGerald is a former FBI agent and mayor tapped to lead Ohio's most populous county out of scandal. Ryan is a six-term congressman from Youngstown first elected in 2002.
Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.