Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is throwing his political support behind Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald in this year’s race for governor, breaking a lengthy silence on whether he would endorse his fellow Democrat. ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.
On the steps of Cleveland city hall, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said he’s watched Ed FitzGerald closely over the past few years, and supports his bid for governor.
“And I will tell you that he has taken the helm of a county that was in a great turmoil and transition, and he’s done that in a way that has created credibility and stability in this county," Jackson said.
Jackson and FitzGerald’s opponent, Gov. John Kasich, have had a cordial relationship in recent years, aligned on numerous projects. They’ve finding common ground on things like Cleveland’s school transformation plan, securing money for road projects and turning over lakefront parks from state to local control.
Jackson said he tipped the governor off about the endorsement in a phone message. Asked about this rapport with Kasich, Jackson said they don’t always agree, but they do get things done.
“The governor has demonstrated that he does business just like I do business, and that we try to work for the betterment of the whole," he said. "And we’ve been on the same page on some issues, and we’ve been diametrically opposed to each other on other issues.”
Jackson has also criticized the governor for cutting funds for local governments in his first budget.
Ohio Republican Party spokesman Chris Schrimpf said in an emailed statement that he expected Jackson to endorse FitzGerald, and that it wouldn’t shake the governor’s relationship with the mayor.
FitzGerald said the endorsement had been in the works for a while. And at a reporter’s prompting he shared another bit of news: An announcement about a new running mate is coming soon.