Columbus -- It's more than a year from the 2014 general election, but the Ohio Democratic Party already has placed its official backing behind five candidates for statewide office.
The party's executive committee met one evening last week to hash out the endorsements. The results weren't really a surprise, since most of these folks have been campaigning against the Republican incumbents for months, with obvious support from the minority party at the Statehouse.
It'll be more of the same, only more so, in the coming weeks and months.
Expect to hear more from former Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper about facial recognition software and faux veterans charity scammers who donate ill-gotten to politicians as he ramps up his campaign against Attorney General Mike DeWine.
State Sen. Nina Turner will continue to blast state election law and policies that make it more difficult for some Ohioans to cast ballots as she attempts to unseat Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Rep. John Carney will continue to question JobsOhio and the efforts made by the state to ensure its financial books were audited appropriately as he directs more of his attention to Auditor Dave Yost.
Rep. Connie Pillich, I assume, will focus some attention on that indictment that came down against those businessmen and their alleged scheme to bolster Republican campaign coffers as she builds her case against Treasurer Josh Mandel.
Ed FitzGerald has a veritable smorgasbord of issues to remind the electorate, including unemployment numbers, tax policy and abortion-related law changes implemented under Gov. John Kasich and his administration.
And who knows what other real or imagined "scandal" will pop up in the next 13 months.
"Democrats are uniting earlier than ever before because we understand how damaging Ohio's Republican state officeholders like John Kasich or Josh Mandel have been for middle-class families all across the Buckeye State," Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said in a released statement announcing the endorsements. "Our Democratic statewide ticket is entirely committed to stopping Ohio's practice of just looking out for the wealthy and well-connected, and they'll get state government working again for the middle class. With more than 400,000 Ohioans out of work and taxes increasing on the middle class, it's clear we're headed in the wrong direction."
The Republican incumbents do have a leg up. They're already in office, and they have lots of good things to say about their record.
And let's not forget the case of Bill O'Neill, the Democrat who did not receive his party's endorsement last year and who backed his own campaign for Supreme Court but still managed to pull off a victory in November.
Though there aren't any other Democrats officially in the running for statewide office and making their presence known around the Statehouse, there's still plenty of time for other candidates to join the fray and make things interesting.
There's also plenty of time for endorsed candidates to drop out.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at email@example.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.