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Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate for governor, campaigned at the Labor Fest picnic Monday in Maumee, along with other Democratic candidates for statewide office.
Mr. FitzGerald, whose campaign has been buffeted by revelations about his previous lack of a driver‘s license, said the coverage of the governor’s race has been “extremely superficial.”
“What I’m hoping is that now that we have 64 days left I know what I‘m going to be doing and that is talking about issues that matter to working people of Ohio, and I hope the media does the same thing,” Mr. FitzGerald said.
“If people think that my driver’s license is one of the great moral issues I‘m not going to have time for that,” Mr. FitzGerald said. “The public deserves a campaign that is focused on the big issues, and we have that on display here in Toledo where almost half a million people lost access to safe drinking water.”
The city of Toledo urged its customers not to drink the tap water produced by its Collins Park Water Treatment Plant from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4 because of high levels of a Lake Erie algal toxin called microcystin had breached the treatment process.
Mr. FitzGerald has accused Gov. John Kasich of putting special interests ahead of Ohioans‘ safety by accusing the governor of being too soft on the agricultural industry.
The Cuyahoga County executive’s campaign to unseat Republican Governor Kasich in the Nov. 4 election has been badly shaken in recent weeks. Mr. FitzGerald has acknowledged that he went for 10 years without a regular driver‘s license, either having no license or operating on temporary permits. Part of that time that he was mayor of Lakewood and county executive.
Asked Monday why he failed to get his driver’s license during that time, Mr. FitzGerald said, “it was an oversight and I was responsible for it,” and said he had answered the question multiple times.
In his speech to the crowd, Mr. FitzGerald brought up Senate Bill 5, the 2011 effort by Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly to weaken the bargaining power of public employee unions, a bill Mr. Kasich supported.
“We‘ve just got to reorient the whole state so we’ve got a governor and a whole statewide ticket that supports working people day in and day out. Trust me, if I win this election, every single day that I get up and go to work I‘m going to know who I represent and that’s the working people of the state, that‘s the working people of Toledo,” Mr. FitzGerald said.
Also shaking hands and chatting with union members were fellow Democrats Connie Pillich running for treasurer, David Pepper running for attorney general, and John Patrick Carney who is running for state auditor.
Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is running for re-election against Mr. Pepper, was a guest at the picnic thanks to his endorsement by the Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.
The labor fest is a new event organized by the AFL-CIO of Greater Toledo to complement the Labor Day Parade that is traditionally held earlier in the day in Toledo. Kate Jacob, secretary-treasure of Labor Fest, said 31 union locals participated in the inaugural picnic and 4,500 people showed up.
Ms. Jacob said the event was organized to bring all the unions together, community organizations, and elected officials together to support the community. The event started with the presentation of a $10,000 check to Ronald McDonald House.