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Columbus Mayor Drops Out of Ohio Governor Race

November 30, 2005|From Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Democratic Mayor Michael B. Coleman dropped out of the governor's race Tuesday, saying his family needed him and he mistakenly thought he could manage Ohio's largest city while campaigning.

"In my family, in my city, I will not sacrifice for anything," he said, his voice choked with emotion.

The decision leaves Rep. Ted Strickland as the lone major Democrat in the campaign to succeed Republican Gov. Robert A. Taft, who cannot run again next year because of term limits.

There had been speculation that Coleman might leave the race after the arrest of his wife, Frankie, last month on a drunken driving charge.

"Throughout her life, she's been taking care of others. Now she's taking care of herself. I'm going to be there to support her," Coleman said when asked whether his wife's arrest influenced his decision.

He also just welcomed home his son, J.D., from Iraq.

Democrats see 2006 as an opportunity to take back the state's top office, held by Republicans since 1990.

Taft's conviction on ethics charges and an investment scandal clouding his administration drew the attention of Strickland, who announced his candidacy in May after saying three months earlier that he wasn't interested.

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