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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Will Kearney selection help or hurt FitzGerald for governor's race?

The race for governor in 2014 came into a sharper focus this week when Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald announced state Sen. Eric Kearney would serve as his running mate.

FitzGerald, who next year will finish up his term as the first elected Cuyahoga County executive, picked the lifelong Cincinnati resident as his choice for lieutenant governor.

Kearney has served as an Ohio state senator since 2005 and is currently the Ohio Senate’s minority leader. He is subject to term limits and is not eligible to run next year for another term in the Ohio Senate.

In a campaign email, FitzGerald said Kearney is known as someone who can get things done and is able to reach across party lines.

After the announcement, the FitzGerald campaign made stops across the state as part of a two-day tour visiting Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo on day one. The next day stops were in Youngstown, Cleveland and Columbus.

The Ohio Republican Party issued a statement from Party Chairman Matt Borges stating the next election will offer a clear contrast between Gov. John Kasich and his running mate Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

Borges criticized Kearney for opposing the state budget and the tax cuts contained within it and that he supports the Affordable Care Act.

In a campaign email, state Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat who represents Ohio Senate District 25 that includes half of Lake County, applauded the choice of Kearney.

Turner also will be part of the Ohio Democratic Party’s statewide ticket next year as she has announced plans to run for Ohio Secretary of State most likely against incumbent Jon Husted.

One of the biggest challenges FitzGerald will have next year is to broaden his name recognition across the state, especially south of the Cleveland media market.

Kearney may help FitzGerald. Kearney, who is black, also provides the ticket with racial diversity.

So perhaps the selection of Kearney will help awaken additional support for FitzGerald in a race that a recent poll sponsored by the Ohio Democratic Party suggests is a dead head.

It also remains to be seen how or if online reports Friday in publications such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cincinnati Enquirer that discussed Kearney owing thousands of dollars on a tax lien will hurt the campaign.

It’s important to note that when people vote for governor they typically are voting for the candidate at the top of the ticket, not for the lieutenant governor.

However, it is the job of the running mate to help the gubernatorial candidate win.

Happy trails

Congratulations to Painesville Township Trustees Jeanette Crislip and Jim Falvey as each rounds up a lengthy career as a trustee.

Neither trustee sought re-election earlier this month and will retire from their respective office.

Falvey attended his last trustee meeting this past week, and Crislip is slated to attend her last meeting next month.

Taken out petitions

Lake County Auditor Edward H. Zupancic has taken out candidacy petitions from the county Elections Board to seek re-election in 2014.

Recently signing in with the Elections Board on behalf U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce to take out petitions for U.S. House of Representatives District 14 was Dino DiSanto, chief of staff for Joyce.

The filing deadline to run for partisan primaries next year is Feb. 5.


The Geauga County Democratic Party will host a Thanksgiving potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday at party headquarters in Newbury Township.


  • Fundraiser for state Rep. Ron Young, 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at Quail Hollow Resort in Concord Township. See Young.
  • Geauga County Republican Party Christmas Party, Dec. 6 at Chagrin Valley Athletic Club in Bainbridge. See Ed Ryder or Frank Gliha.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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