CLEVELAND -- Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich now has a 2014 challenger as Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announces for governor.
FitzGerald was introduced by former Congressman Louis Stokes just before 1 p.m. Wednesday before a room of about 300 people.
"...the list of Kasich's mistakes goes on and on...can we afford to stand on the sidelines and watch this happen? I'm running for governor," FitzGerald said.
"It's your money and you have a right to know how it is spent...Ohio has one chance to get this right...too many people in the middle class are just hanging on by their fingernails...when you talk to the workers...you know we are in need of new leadership...the challenges are certainly daunting....we can be a state that has a governor...for families to get in the middle class and stay in the middle class..."
FitzGerald scheduled announcements first in Cleveland at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown, then in Columbus and Cincinnati later Wednesday.
Fitzgerald, 44, married with children and a former FBI agent and Lakewood mayor, promotes his role as a reformer who helped restore integrity after the commissioner form of government in Ohio's most populous county was plagued with scandal.
To make his case, FitzGerald must fend off critics who seek to use his designation as Public Official 14 in the government's corruption probe to tarnish his tough-on-crime message. Republicans have launched a website using the moniker.
FitzGerald's name surfaced only marginally in the investigation. He was never a target and was not charged.
A spokesman for Governor Kasich attributed this quote to him, "There will be a time for politics. We are focussed on getting Ohio back on track and putting Ohioans back to work."
The Associated Press