MEDINA — Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive and gubernatorial hopeful, visited Medina County on Wednesday, braving a snowstorm to meet with local supporters at Cool Beans on Public Square.
FitzGerald, a Democrat, said he hopes to run a grassroots campaign that involves traveling throughout the state and meeting one-on-one with supporters. He said he thinks if his supporters can work to educate voters in their communities, independents would side with him on most big issues.
“We’ve already been to 88 counties and we’re going to keep traveling all over the state,” FitzGerald said.
He said good voter education can help his campaign overcome the financial disadvantage he has against Republican Gov. John Kasich.
According to financial reports released at the end of January, Kasich has raised nearly $8 million and FitzGerald’s campaign has raised $1.5 million.
FitzGerald said Kasich’s policies are out of line with the wants and needs of Ohioans.
“People don’t agree with him on the vast majority of issues facing the state,” FtizGerald said. “People disagree with cuts to education and attacks on women’s health care.”
Kasich’s policies favor large corporations and the wealthiest Ohioans, who are Kasich’s biggest supporters, FitzGerald said.
“Why would (Kasich) be for policies that people don’t like?” FitzGerald asked the group. “Well, it’s a very effective fundraising strategy.”
FitzGerald, who previously served as mayor of Lakewood, said he has experience in winning races when the financial odds are stacked against him. He said he was outspent 3 to 1 when he ran his mayoral campaign and outspent 4 to 1 in his race for county executive.
“We won because we outworked our opponent, which we’re doing now,” he said. “He’s trying to travel around the state running for president and he’s ignoring a good portion of the state.”
Kasich will not have opposition in the Republican primary on May 6 because Ted Stevenot, a tea party favorite, dropped out.
FitzGerald may face a challenge from Larry Ealy, of Dayton, who turned in petitions to run in the Democratic primary for governor on Wednesday, the filing deadline. Petitions still have to be certified, and according to The Associated Press, Ealy has had issues with petition signatures in the past when filing for other offices.
Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.