In Ohio, Candidates Get No Bounce by Bashing LeBron

Gubernatorial candidate says he won't join "chorus" to keep James in Cleveland

By Greg Wilson
|  Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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If John Kasich wants to be Ohio's next governor, he's going to have to learn there's one voter he cannot alienate: LeBron James.

With James making NBA teams around the nation salivate and his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers sweat over his pending free agency, Kasich threw up a brick on a June 17 radio show.

"I'm not singing in any chorus for Lebron James," Kasich said when radio host Alan Colmes asked whether the one-time Republican congressman would lobby to keep James from bolting.

He went on to explain his point, just in case someone in the Buckeye state hadn't already tuned out.

"Alan, we've lost 400,000 jobs out here and the last guy I worry about is LeBron James," Kasich continued. "You know I mean, we all hope he'll stay in Cleveland. We think we've got a great guy there that can turn everything around, but we got some serious problems."

Incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland, who would like to keep his job, quickly went in for the slam dunk, starting a website called Ohioans Against LeBron. Strickland's backers even managed to use the airball for a class warfare broadside.

"LeBron isn't just a basketball star and Ohio icon, he's a huge economic driver for the Cleveland area," said Democratic Party spokesman Seth Bringman. "But it shouldn't come as a surprise that John Kasich doesn't mind if LeBron goes to New York, considering all the time he spent on Wall Street."

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