Former professor runs for governor

Campus Editor and Campus Editor

After serving three years in the Ohio House, Charlie Earl left politics in 1984 to pursue a number of teaching stints, including one at the University.

Now he’s making his return for one last go at political office— the governor of Ohio.

“I’m going to get the job done and go home,” Earl said. “After the governor’s office, I don’t have any aspirations.”

Earl, 67, announced his intentions to run in the 2014 gubernatorial race on Sept. 19 in his hometown of Tiffin, Ohio.

A former Republican, Earl is running as a Libertarian, challenging Republican Gov. John Kasich and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

Sherry Clark, publisher of the Liberty Voice, an independent Libertarian newspaper, is Earl’s running mate.

Earl taught mass communication at the University from 1986 to 1998. He also received his master’s in mass communication from the University.

“I love Bowling Green,” he said, or as he calls it, “Blowing Green.”

Earl has lived in Middleton Township, just north of Bowling Green, for more than four years.

The reason for his party switch is simple, he said. It first stemmed from his dissatisfaction with the way the Democratic and Republican parties operated— making decisions for the good of the party rather than the people.

During his time in the House, he served with Kasich, a senator at that time, Attorney General Mike Dewine and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, all of whom he categorizes as career politicians.

“Somewhere along the way, they lost their principles,” he said. “They exist in power to stay in power.”

But his switch to Libertarianism has now grown into a full embrace of “personal freedom and limited government.”

“The bottom line is, government has no heart, no mind and no soul,” he said. “I’m just fed up with too much government in our lives.”

An ardent supporter of the free market, Earl reads Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” once every two years and describes Libertarians like Ron Paul as a “beacon.”

“We have a few loons in the party,” he said. “But as more and more people become acquainted with the principles of freedom; the loons will become marginalized.”

Earl plans to run a grassroots campaign, avoiding a centralized campaign headquarters in favor of working with groups around the state to get the word out.

This includes groups on college campuses.

For instance, University senior Matt Makela leads a group on campus that will campaign for Earl.

“There’s not going to be a great candidate outside of Charlie,” Makela said.

And this campaign strategy won’t make him beholden to lobbyists, Earl said.

“I’ll have the freedom to make choices that are best for Ohio and its citizens,” he said. “I want to get people energized to go out and do what they want to do.”

Earl isn’t the first Libertarian to run for governor in Ohio— the party had a candidate in both the 2006 and 2010 elections. In the past, the candidates haven’t gotten more than 2 percent of the vote, said John Fockler, deputy chair of communications for the Libertarian Party of Ohio.

But expectations are high for Earl, Fockler said.

“For a number of reasons, I think Charlie will be our most successful candidate for governor ever,” he said. “Charlie is starting way earlier than our candidates usually do.”

And Earl doesn’t merely see himself as a spoiler, mainly because of the growing dissatisfaction among voters with both parties, he said.

“The stars are aligned,” he said, citing the rising number of independent voters in Ohio. “I think we’ve got a real good chance, better than anyone in the history of Ohio.”