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Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald talks small business in Toledo campaign stop

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Ed FitzGerald, Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, with Jackie David, speaks to the media at the Original Sub Shop on Broadway today in Toledo. Jackie and husband Sargis David own the shop.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate for governor in the Nov. 4 election, brought his campaign to Toledo today, attacking the current administration‘‍s policies that he said hurt small business.

Mr. FitzGerald stood with Jackie David, co-owner of the Original Sub Shop Deli at 402 Broadway St., to criticize Republican incumbent Gov. John Kasich on business and taxation.

“We really want to emphasize how really tough it has been and still is to run a small business in Ohio. If you’‍re a big corporation that happens to be close to the governor you probably got a lot of help in the last few years,” Mr. FitzGerald said. “There‘‍s been very little emphasis on small business.”

Mr. FitzGerald’‍s comments are disputed by supporters of Mr. Kasich, who won the re-election endorsement of the Ohio chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, which has 25,000 members.

Mr. FitzGerald said an increase in the sales tax and the commercial activities tax under Mr. Kasich have hurt small businesses, while cuts in schools and local government have undercut local economies that support small business.

Ms. David, who has owned the business with her husband, Sargis David, for 35 years, said, “I don‘‍t think Governor Kasich speaks for small business; he’‍s more aligned with special interests, corporations.” She said the sales tax increase has made it harder for people to dine out.

The Kasich campaign cites the governor’s successful initiatives to lower the state income tax by 10 percent over three years and to cut income taxes on small businesses by 50 percent on the first $250,000 of income. Those two initiatives are projected to save taxpayers nearly $2 billion in 2014 and 2015.

Kasich spokesman Connie Wehrkamp said that, "for those keeping score at home, that's 25,000-plus small business owners supporting John Kasich's re-election and one small business owner supporting FitzGerald.

“There's no question who the job creators support and want to have managing our state - it's John Kasich, the governor who has restored fiscal sanity in Ohio and cut taxes by $3 billion, including a 75 percent tax deduction for virtually every small business in the state," Ms. Wehrkamp said.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058 and on Twitter @TomFTroy.
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