Ed FitzGerald, Democratic county executive of Cuyahoga County, speaks at Pam's Corner restaurant.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald brought his 1-day-old campaign to Toledo today, where he met with a group of supporters, and also was picketed by Republicans mocking him for not visiting Toledo on his first day as a candidate.
Mr. FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, criticized Republican Gov. John Kasich for tax and budgeting policies that he said took $3 billion out of funds for schools and local governments to balance the state's budget.
He said the economic growth of the last few years in Ohio is not the "miracle" Mr. Kasich portrays.
"It's getting too tough to get into the middle class or stay in the middle class the last few years," Mr. FitzGerald said to about 40 supporters who gathered in the 10th Street restaurant Pam's Corner.
Lucas County Republican Party Chairman Jon Stainbrook, right, and others protest as Ed FitzGerald, Democratic county executive of Cuyahoga County, speaks at Pam's Corner.
Outside the building, a handful of Republicans held signs showing a map of Ohio with Toledo marked with a large X. County GOP Chairman Jon Stainbrook said they were there "to remind Ed FitzGerald that Toledo does exist," a reference to the fact that Mr. FitzGerald launched his campaign in the state's three largest cities Wednesday - Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati - and left Toledo and other smaller cities to the second, third, and fourth days of his trip.
Mr. FitzGerald said he's been in Toledo about half a dozen times, including at least two public events, since he started planning a race for governor.
"When Governor Kasich announced in Toledo it was not the first day or the second day," Mr. FitzGerald said.
"We need every corner of the state, and Toledo's a big part of that," Mr. FitzGerald said. He promised a Toledo-specific agenda and told listeners, "I'm going to be relying on people in this room to help me put that together."
He said he believes he stands a good chance of getting elected, saying Mr. Kasich was farther behind Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland when he started his campaign in 2010 than Mr. FitzGerald is behind Mr. Kasich now.
His listeners included several local elected officials, among them the two Democratic candidates for mayor of Toledo, Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez and City Councilman Joe McNamara.
Contact Tom Troy at email@example.com or 419-724-6058.