Dayton area resident Larry Ealy to challenge Ed FitzGerald


COLUMBUS - The Ohio Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate, Ed FitzGerald, officially has a primary election opponent trying to block his path to challenging Republican Gov. John Kasich this fall.

Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office today certified the May 6 primary election ballot, which includes Dayton area resident Larry Ealy.

The filing of candidate petitions by the little known Mr. Ealy had come as surprise, so insiders were eagerly watching to see if he filed the minimum of 1,000 valid signatures of registered voters to qualify. He did. He said he plans to make civil rights the cornerstone of his campaign.

But three Libertarian candidates for secretary of state, auditor, and treasurer came up short.

For governor, Mr. Kasich will again run with Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. Mr. FitzGerald, currently Cuyahoga County executive, will run with Sharen Schwartz Neuhardt as his would-be lieutenant governor.

Mr. Ealy is paired with Cincinnati area resident Ken Gray.

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl, a former Republican state representative from Bowling Green, will appear on the fall ballot with Sherry L. Clark.

Governor marks the sole statewide race that will involve a primary challenge. The other races shake out as follows:

—Attorney General: Republican incumbent Mike DeWine will square off against Democratic former Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper and Columbus area Libertarian Steven R. Linnabary.

—Secretary of State: Mr. Husted, the Republican incumbent, will face Democratic state Sen. Nina Turner (D., Cleveland). Libertarian Aaron Keith Harris failed to qualify.

—Auditor: Republican incumbent David Yost will face state Rep. John Carney (D., Columbus) this fall. Libertarian Robert C. Coogan also failed to qualify.

—Treasurer: Republican incumbent and former U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel will face Democratic state Rep. Connie Pillich, of Cincinnati. Libertarian physician Marc Allan Feldman did not make the ballot.

—Supreme Court: Two seats are on the ballot. Kasich appointee Judith French, a Republican, faces November competition from Democratic Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell. Meanhile, Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy will defend her seat against state Rep. Tom Letson (D., Warren).