Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, continues to keep his intentions of a run for governor in 2014 close to his vest.
This was his response when asked Thursday if he was considering it.
''My immediate plans are to do whatever I can during the next five months to see that President (Barack) Obama is re-elected, to see that my dear friend, (U.S.) Senator Sherrod Brown is returned to the Senate and see the woman I appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court, the only Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court, Yvette McGee Brown, is elected in November,'' he said.
He said he would make a decision about his future after the Nov. 6 election and probably before January with consultation from his wife and friends.
He lost his re-election bid in 2010 to Gov. John Kasich, a Republican.
For now, Strickland, one of the co-chairmen of the president's re-election campaign, is concentrating his efforts on other Democrats.
He was in Warren last week at Enzo's Restaurant for a fundraiser to support former state Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood's bid for Family Court judge. Harwood, a Democrat, is challenging incumbent Republican Judge Richard James.
His schedule is intense.
Strickland said he was in New Hampshire recently for five events and last week he was at events in Pomeroy, Athens, Marietta, New Lexington, New Philadelphia and Chillicothe. On Friday, the former governor was set to visit Jackson, Ironton and Gallipolis.
''I'm trying to spend as much time as I can talking to people about the importance of this presidential election,'' Strickland said.
A point Democrats and Strickland are really trying to stick is the auto rescue and its benefits in Ohio. ''It's the most important issue in this campaign as far as Ohio is concerned,'' Strickland said.
People who say the rescue didn't work are ''simply out of touch.''
He disputes claims that the bailout was a bailout of union workers, recalling that ''in the depths of the auto crisis,'' a Sunday evening visit from officials with Honda, which has a non-union plant in Marysville, asking him to do whatever he could to get help for the ''Big Three.''
''Why, because 80 percent of their suppliers also supplied the Big Three and they were fearful the entire supply chain would collapse,'' Strickland said. ''That would be catastrophic. Our unemployment would be much higher today in Ohio were it not for that auto assistance.''
Still, the question lingers about Strickland's future intentions.
U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan and others sure would like to know the answer.
Ryan, D-Niles, has made no secret of his interest in running for governor, but his decision hinges on what Strickland will do. The two are good friends and Ryan has said he considers the former governor a mentor.
Some other names that have been tossed out have been Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive, and Richard Cordray, former Ohio treasurer and attorney general who now heads the Federal Consumer Protection Bureau.