CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced on Wednesday that he is running for governor in Ohio.
“Let’s run this race for the working people and middle class families of Ohio who are going to be cheering us on every step of the way,” said FitzGerald, a democrat, to a crowd of supporters at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cleveland. “Let’s run this race to win and let’s run this race for the state we love!”
FitzGerald, 44, said it’s the right time for him to run because Gov. John Kasich “isn’t the man for the job”.
This is the first time FitzGerald, a former prosecutor, mayor and FBI agent, has run for a statewide office in Ohio. In 2010, he was the first person elected to the newly-created position of Cuyahoga County Executive after voters dissolved the former system of government that included three county commissioners.
FitzGerald gave a short speech to an enthusiastic crowd and was introduced by former Congressman Louis Stokes. According to Stokes, FitzGerald kept the faith of the people following the corruption scandal in county government.
“It’s gonna be tough, but I think we can do it,” said FitzGerald. “We’ve been talking to folks all across the state and the interest level in this race is very, very high and I think that’s gonna help us get to where we need to be.”
The new candidate for governor didn’t waste any time going after Governor Kasich and his record in Columbus. “It’s still very, very tough out there for middle class families, very, very tough and I don't think he gets that because he’s celebrating that as if it’s mission accomplished and I don’t think it is,” said FitzGerald.
In a statement to FOX 8’s Mark Zinni, a spokesperson for Gov. Kasich said, “there will be a time for politics, but right now our focus remains on getting the state back on track and putting Ohioans back to work.”
Kasich recently spoke to FOX 8’s Bill Sheil about his first-term as governor. "We’re up jobs; we’re starting to win a lot of battles we didn’t win before,” said the governor. “I mean, 135,000 up as opposed to the last four years when we lost 400,000. This is terrific, but we have a long way to go; but I feel optimism in our state.”
“Ohio is clearly doing better,” said Kasich. “I’m pleased about that, but the people will have their say.”
According to a poll released on April 18 from Quinnipiac University, Gov. Kasich leads his new democratic challenger in the 2014 governor’s race, 46%-37%. Before facing-off with the governor in the fall of 2014, FitzGerald first has to win the democratic primary next May.
Following his announcement in Cleveland, FitzGerald traveled to Columbus and Cincinnati to make similar appearances.