From the Toledo Blade:
COLUMBUS — Anita Rios has watched from a distance as the Democratic candidate for governor has seen his campaign flounder and wondered whether this could create an opening for her.
The woman from Toledo’s Old West End has more than a stake in the race. She’s the third option on Ohio’s Nov. 4 ballot on the Green Party ticket along with Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald.
“I’ve been asking myself that question, and the honest answer is I’m not sure” whether Mr. FitzGerald’s problems have created an opportunity for the Green Party, she said.
The Green Party shares some things in common with the FitzGerald campaign. Both have called for reducing the cost of higher education and an end to the use of state regulation to shutter abortion clinics.
And, as of last week, the two camps have found some common ground on the issue of marijuana. While Republican Gov. John Kasich outright opposes legalization of marijuana, Mr. FitzGerald now says he favors legalizing it for medical purposes only.
The Green Party supports the legalization of marijuana for medical, recreational, and industrial purposes. In fact, Ms. Rios’ running mate, Columbus activist Bob Fitrakis, has been a prime mover in so-far-stalled petition efforts to put a legalization question on the ballot.
Ms. Rios and Mr. Fitrakis garnered enough write-in votes during the May primary to qualify for the Nov. 4 election.
“I think our openings come from two things,” Ms. Rios said. “The number of people who declare themselves as independent — I consider those to be potential constituents. Also, the number of people who have thrown up their hands and don’t vote anymore, who’ve given up on the process.”