Lehman Brothers Collapse Haunts John Kasich in Ohio Governor's Race

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland hammers GOP rival for Wall Street ties.

ByABC News
May 7, 2010, 2:36 PM

May 12, 2010 -- Republican John Kasich, the former congressman and Fox News host who is running for governor of Ohio, used to tout his eight years at Lehman Brothers.

But in the wake of the firm's collapse, it's Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland who is putting Kasich's Wall Street ties front and center in one of the marquee races of 2010.

"Lehman Brothers wasn't a victim of a shaky economy, they were the architects," Strickland said. "[Kasich] may not think $400,000 is a huge bonus. But to the average Ohioan, it is a huge bonus, especially when you're working for a company that is going down the tubes and costing Ohio pensions lots of money."

Election Day is almost six months away. But voter anger over the bad economy and the Wall Street meltdown is already being felt around the country.

ABC News 2010 Election Map: Follow the House, Senate and Governor's Races

A few days ago, Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, a Republican, was booted from office after voting for the Wall Street bailout in 2008.

Out in California, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a Republican candidate for governor, is using GOP rival Meg Whitman's ties to Goldman Sachs to give the former eBay CEO a real run for her money. Watch Poizner's ad here.

Wall Street's role in precipitating the economic downturn is in particularly sharp focus in Ohio because of Kasich's role as one of the managing directors of Lehman Brothers, the global financial services firm that declared bankruptcy in September 2008.

Strickland, who spoke with ABC News while in Washington, D.C., to raise money for his campaign, is trying to keep Kasich's Wall Street ties in front of voters by making them the subject of a television ad launched last week and a major speech delivered on Wednesday.