As we head deeper into the campaign season Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald is revealing more of his message to voters. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, FitzGerald is trying to tap into frustration on the local level.
Cuyahoga County Executive and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald brought his concerns about local government funding to a sympathetic audience – the Ohio Township Association conference in Columbus. He said local governments are still struggling as a result of cuts from the state.
“You talk to people in local communities," said FitzGerald, "they know the police officer that’s been laid off or the firefighter that’s been laid off or the local tax that had to go up because the state’s taking more of their money. So no—it’s something that’s really resonating and we’re going to keep talking about it all year long.”
FitzGerald says top state officials try to paint a rosier picture of what’s happening at the local level. But Republican Senate President Keith Faber, who also addressed the conference, said the state Legislature is finding other ways to support communities.
“I think part of the discussion is just a difference in perspective. I think it’s not necessarily a good thing that local governments have to come hat in hand to state government for funds," Faber said, "I would rather empower local governments to be successful on their own and have local revenue support local governments cause that’s more stable, that’s more predictable and it’s going to be a better long-term plan.”
While FitzGerald spent time campaigning in the state capital, Gov. John Kasich traveled up to FitzGerald’s territory to campaign in Cuyahoga County.
Andy Chow at the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau.