Two democratic candidates are going head to head in Ohio’s race for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in the May primary. Edward FitzGerald and Sharen Neuhardt are running on one ticket against Larry Ealy and Ken Gray on an opposing ticket.
Edward FitzGerald and running mate Sharen Neuhardt
Edward FitzGerald (D) running for Governor
FitzGerald began his career after graduating from The Ohio State University and law school. He then took a job as an FBI agent where he was assigned to the Organized Crime Task Force in Chicago. After his FBI service, he returned to Ohio to served as an assistant county prosecutor and eventually Mayor of Lakewood. Following that, he was elected as Cuyahoga County’s County Executive.
FitzGerald says he wants to cut wasteful spending. As Cuyahoga County’s Executive, he’s passed and implemented balanced budgets without raising taxes. He and his administration reduced the size of county government through a data-driven approach. He says he plans to bring the same leadership to Columbus.
In terms of jobs, he believes that economic development and job creation is critical to Ohio’s future. He says he wants to bring in new business while also protecting current jobs. FitzGerald also stands firm in his position to put workers over corporations and middle class families over millionaires.
FitzGerald says he will fight to root out corruption. He says through his initiative, he dismantled a corrupt political machine in Cuyahoga County and revamped the local government structure.
In his campaign, he believes education is the basis for building a competent and successful workforce. Cuyahoga is the first county in the country to establish a college savings plan for every child within its borders under Fitzgerald’s leadership. He says he wants to lead Ohio’s education system into the future.
He and his wife Shannon have been married for more than 21 years, and are the parents to four teenagers.
Sharen Neuhardt (D) running for Lieutenant Governor
Sharen Neuhardt is running for Ohio Lieutenant Governor on FitzGerald’s ticket.
Neuhardt is a Daytonian and a product of Dayton Public Schools. She began her career in business law after working her way through Northwestern University for undergrad and graduating from Georgetown University with a law degree. She began with the firm Smith & Schnacke, which later became Thompson Hine. After working at Lexis/Nexis she returned to Thompson Hine to serve as head of the firm’s corporate group.
Larry Ealy and running mate Ken Gray
Larry Ealy (D) running for Governor
A self-proclaimed civil rights advocate, Larry Ealy is no stranger to politics. He got his start in 2009 when he ran for Mayor of Dayton.
He says he has decided to run for governor to be a voice of the African American community.
Ealy is focused on the high unemployment rate and says he wants to bring jobs to Ohio.
Youth programs are also a top priority for Ealy, as he wants to open youth centers all across Ohio and expand summer work programs for teens. His goal is to help young people succeed while curbing violence, homlessness, and drug abuse.
Ealy supports the legalization of marijuana.
He opposes House Bill 203, the Stand Your Ground Law.
He says he wants to take a closer look at police policy and practice and ensure equal treatment for every American citizen.
Ealy admits he’s had several run-ins with the law, which he says stem from a lawsuit he filed in the 1990s after he said an officer used excessive force. His experience with the justice system, he wants to reform police policies.
Ealy is a former tow-truck driver from Trotwood.
Ken Gray (D) running for Lieutenant Governor
Larry Ealy has picked Ken Gray as his running mate for Ohio Lieutenant Governor. Gray is from Cincinnati whom Ealy got to know in 2011.
The winner of this race will face off against incumbent Ohio Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor in the November general election.