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Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic Cuyahoga County executive, is an impressive public servant with stellar credentials. Moreover, strong Democratic contenders to run against Gov. John Kasich are welcome.
But Mr. FitzGerald is off to a terrible start in one respect: He apparently thinks the Three-C cities equal Ohio.
They do not. Never have.
Mr. FitzGerald will announce his candidacy for governor today with three stops at the Three-C cities — starting in Cleveland, followed by Columbus in the afternoon, and Cincinnati in the evening.
If his campaign kickoff foreshadows the priorities of his administration, he ought to pull out a map of Ohio and reroute. This state can’t move forward unless the interests of all its people and regions are accounted for. And Mr. FitzGerald, by confining one of the biggest events of his campaign to the usual suspects, is sending the wrong meesage about his candidacy, right out of the gate.
Some years ago, The Blade launched a campaign to educate public policy makers and the media. It was called “The Other Ohio.” The point was that Ohio is a big state with many sizes of communities and many kinds of people. It is more than the Three-C cities.
Ohio is not only one of the most important industrial states, but also one the most important farm states in the union. It has suffered an increase in urban and Appalachian poverty.
Mr. FitzGerald should not only visit Toledo, Youngstown, and Dayton to kick off his campaign, but also Marion, Mount Vernon, Portsmouth, beautiful Marietta, Newark, Coshocton, Lancaster, Fremont, Athens, Ada, New Concord (the home of John Glenn), and Wapakoneta (the home of Neil Armstrong).
For years, the Three-C cities got all the attention and most of the state money. That was unjust. There’s a lot more to Ohio.
We can’t afford to go back to Ohio politicians who think of the state as three fiefdoms — and the other cities and small towns of this state as afterthoughts.
People in the other Ohio count as much as the people of Cleveland, Cincinnati, or Columbus. If Mr. FitzGerald doesn’t know that, he has no business running for governor.