Monday, March 11, 2013 at 5:30 PM
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald came one step closer to announcing a bid for governor on Monday, with the news that he’s formed an exploratory committee for the 2014 race. ideastream's Nick Castele has more.
Officially, this is not Ed FitzGerald’s declaration of candidacy. But it’s a step in that direction.
In an announcement video posted to YouTube, he offered a glimpse of what his campaign message might be.
FITZGERALD: “If you’re tired of a state government taking its cues from the wealthy and well-connected, instead of the middle class, join me. If you’re tired of a status quo that passes the buck to local communities while you get nickeled and dimed to death, join me.”
A Quinnipiac poll from the end of February found that 80 percent of Ohioans who responded said they hadn’t heard enough about FitzGerald to make up their minds about him.
Other potential candidates for governor mentioned in the poll—Congressman Tim Ryan, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray—fared better than FitzGerald on that question.
Speaking to reporters outside his office after a press conference, FitzGerald acknowledged lack of name recognition is his most immediate challenge.
FITZGERALD: “I’m pretty well known in this part of the state, but I’m getting to know more about the rest of the state, and you need to respect that process. And you need to get to know people all across the state. And that’s what I’m exploring.”
FitzGerald has around two dozen county Democratic Party dinners on his schedule in the first half of this year. And he’ll be speaking this Friday in Columbus at the Ohio Democratic Party’s Legacy Dinner—one of the biggest gatherings of Democrats in the state. Tim Ryan will be speaking, too.
Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.