Lieutenant governor hopefuls deflect tough issues

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The running mates of GOP Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) and his Democratic rival have been taking on the role of deflecting attention from the candidates on tougher issues.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor has been a consistently vocal critic of President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul, reviled by many conservatives. She's done so as Kasich has walked a careful political line and expanded Ohioans' access to Medicaid under the law.

Likewise, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald has a running mate in Yellow Springs attorney Sharen Neuhardt, who's vocal on abortion rights. That's freed FitzGerald, a Catholic, to avert discussions on his personal views.

Experts say running mates can make politically risky appearances and lend diversity to campaigns.

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