(Columbus) - The race for Ohio governor is getting another name and it could have a major impact.
Charlie Earl is running on the Libertarian Party ticket. The former Republican state representative doesn't see himself as a spoiler, but a vote for him could send a message to both major political parties.
"This is the perfect time to split the vote and go for liberty and teach the GOP to quit taking the tea party people, the conservative, and the libertarian and liberty-oriented people of their party for granted," he said.
He also expects to get support from Democrats who feel their party has gone too far to the left.
Medicaid expansion could be a major factor in the 2014 race, especially if it's on the ballot. Gov. John Kasich has seen opposition from many within his own party over the issue. Democrat Ed FitzGerald is also a supporter. Earl calls it an "end around on Obamacare." He says Kasich's approach on the issue flies in the face of the desires of most Ohioans.
"He's almost being Obama-like in the sense of the 'my way or the highway' type of attitude that he's taking on this and I think the people resent it," Earl said.
Earl also believes that it's time for Ohio to quit being so dependent on the federal government. He says Washington isn't making decisions that are in the best interest of Ohio.
Another potentially big topic in 2014 could be same-sex marriage. While Earl says he's personally not a backer of the idea he doesn't believe it's a decision that should be made by the government.
"I don't want the government to do it and I don't want Charlie Earl to be setting firm, established law," he said.
Earl is a backer of legalization of marijuana.
He served in the Ohio House from 1981 to 1984 and spent time on Capitol Square with current House Speaker Bill Batchelder, Gov. John Kasich, Attorney General Mike DeWine, and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
"These people and people like them, that are nice people and I'd love to have dinner with them and so-forth, have been in charge of state government for 30 years and our situation hasn't improved it's gotten worse," he said.
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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Ohio Libertarian Party.)