FitzGerald introduces running mate Kearney to Toledo


Ohio candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald introduced his chosen running mate for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Eric Kearney of Cincinnati, to a crowd of Lucas County Democrats today.

Mr. FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, and Mr. Kearney were in their third announcement stop of the day, after Cincinnati and Dayton. He told a full house that he selected Mr. Kearney because he shares his commitment to working people and can step up and serve as governor, if needed.

"I wanted somebody that agreed with me that we've got to put government back on the side of working families. I wanted somebody that still understood that it's still tough to support a family and making a living here in Ohio. We've added virtually no jobs in the state of Ohio in the last year and a lot of the jobs that have been added have been minimum-wage, no-benefit jobs," Mr. FitzGerald said.

In his own remarks, Mr. Kearney pointed to state Sen. Edna Brown (D., Toledo) as one of his close advisers. He said that he will campaign for Mr. FitzGerald because of "the energy that he brings to the state of Ohio, his knowledge and empathy for working families, and his belief that education is the most important thing for Ohio's economy and Ohio families."

Mr. FitzGerald and Mr. Kearney have the Ohio Democratic Party's backing to run against Republican incumbent Gov. John Kasich in 2014.

About 75 people turned out for the introduction of Mr. Kearney at the party's headquarters on Madison Avenue. Lucas County Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said he worked to have a strong turnout in order to get past the bruised feelings of the primary campaign that pitted two Democrats against each other and ended without a Democrat on the 2013 mayoral general election ballot.

"My new slogan is we can't create a new future if we cling to the past," Mr. Rothenbuhler said.

Mr. Rothenbuhler said he believes Mr. Kearney will help mobilize Lucas County votes for Mr. FitzGerald even though he is from the other end of the state. 

"I was hoping he would pick somebody that would help garner the votes necessary to win and Eric obviously is very intelligent and young and fully supported by me and our Democratic Party," Mr. Rothenbuhler said.

Republicans responded to the FitzGerald-Kearney whistlestop trip by accusing Mr. FitzGerald of concealing for three weeks a downgrade in Cuyahoga County's credit rating. Mr. FitzGerald said Standard & Poor's released its own report and his administration was in the process of challenging inaccuracies in the report. 

Contact Tom Troy: or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.