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Government and Politics

New Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald is no household name
But the Democrat hopes to overcome the name recognition problem as he in his run against Gov. Kasich

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald kicked off his campaign for Ohio governor today with stops in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. The 44 year-old Democrat promises more money for schools and no tax cuts for the wealthy.
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Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is officially running for governor.  The 44-year-old Democrat says he wants to restore education funding and help low-income Ohioans.

But as WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports, some are saying he should finish his work with the county first.

ST CLAIR: FitzGerald kicks off campaign for governor

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FitzGerald kicked off his campaign with a three-city transect of Ohio. In Cleveland, he attacked Gov. John Kasich’s 2011 cuts to education.  

“The budget was balanced by making one of the worst decisions possible: defunding our local schools.”

FitzGerald laid out another campaign issue he hopes will take him to the governor’s mansion by revisiting the bruising battle in 2011 over collective bargaining for public employees.

“We can be a state that respects all its workers, public sector and private sector, union and non-union, instead of demonizing them.”

But FitzGerald’s decision to run for governor halfway through his first term as Cuyahoga County executive rankles some Republicans on County Council.

Councilman Dave Greenspan says the campaign will be a distraction for FitzGerald and for key members of his administration.

The latest Quinnipiac Poll shows that three quarters of Ohioans don't know enough about FitzGerald to form an opinion of him.

That means it’s likely FitzGerald and his team will be spending more time outside Cuyahoga County over the next 18 months trying to change that.  

Gov. Kasich said today he’s not that familiar with his Democratic challenger, and that next year's race will come down to whether voters feel Kasich done a good job with the economy. The governor has not officially announced he will seek re-election, but is widely expected to run again next year.

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