Ed FitzGerald – Democrat
Currently the Cuyahoga County Executive. FitzGerald’s running mate is Sharen Neuhardt. FitzGerald says his number one priority is “strengthening the economy for everyday Ohioans and creating family-sustaining jobs.”
FitzGerald’s economic plan includes creating jobs by investing in small bussiness, raising the minimum wage, and opposing any “right-to-work” legislation. In education, FitzGerald wants to increase the state’s investment in public schools, end standardized testing, and at the college level, create universal college savings accounts, and increase state-funded student financial aid. FitzGerald is full support of marriage equality and supports full equality in housing and employment for LGBT Ohioans.
“I am running for Governor because Ohio’s working families should be getting ahead, not just getting by, FitzGerald says on his campaign website. “For over three years our state government has been championing an outdated economic theory that simply does not work. An unprecedented amount of tax breaks have gone to the most fortunate, while nearly half of Ohioans are still living paycheck to paycheck. That means that almost half of our state is just one bad day away from financial disaster.”
FitzGerald attended The Ohio State University and earned a law degree from Cleveland–Marshall College of Law began his career as a special agent with the FBI and was previously mayor of Lakewood, Ohio.
Sharen Neuhardt earned her law degree from Georgetown University and works as an attorney in Dayton.
John Kasich – Republican
First elected Governor of Ohio in 2010. Kasich’s running mate is Mary Taylor. As governor, Kasich’s economic agenda has focused on balancing the budget and lowering taxes. When he came into office in 2011 he managed to erase an $8 billion budget deficit. Another priority is bringing industry and jobs to Ohio, while shrinking the role of government though privatization and fewer regulations. On social issues, Kasich opposed the Affordable Care Act, though he did expand Medicaid in the state using federal funds. Kasich opposes same sex marriage and abortion rights. Kasich favors stricter laws and punishment to reduce crime and is a proponent of capital punishment. Kasich wants another term as governor, he says, to finish what he started when he took office in 2011.
On his campaign’s website, on a page titled Ohio’s Comeback Story starts with this statement:
“When Ohioans elected John Kasich and Mary Taylor in November 2010, they put their faith in these leaders to fix a state that was on the brink of financial ruin and had suffered massive job losses over the previous four years. Today, thanks in large part to the leadership of Governor Kasich and Lt. Governor Taylor, our state is stronger and Ohioans from every walk of life see a brighter future with more opportunity. But our state has only just begun to reach its true potential. John Kasich’s independent and bold approach to governing will allow Ohio to build upon the progress made and gain strength for years to come.”
Kasich entered politics after graduating from The Ohio State University. Prior to becoming governor, Kasich served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Ohio State Senate.
Mary Taylor earned a M.A. in taxation from the University of Akron. Prior to becoming lieutenant governor, Taylor served as Ohio State Auditor and was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. She began her career in politics in 2001 when she was elected to the Green City Council.
Anita Rios – Green
The Green Party candidate, serves on the Central Committees for both the Lucas County and Ohio Green Parties. Rios’s running mate is Bob Fitrakis.Rios is running on platform strengthening the economy, including a state-chartered bank, a $15/hr minimum wage and full legalization of marijuana and industrial hemp. She wants to reform funding for public education, stop hydraulic fracking, abolish the death penalty, and enact immigration reforms.Rios believes the time is right for a viable third party candidate.
“I think our openings come from two things,” Rios said in an interview witht Toledo Blade. “The number of people who declare themselves as independent — I consider those to be potential constituents. Also, the number of people who have thrown up their hands and don’t vote anymore, who’ve given up on the process.”
Rios, a Toledo resident, was most recently employed as President of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Bob Fitrakis serves as co-chair of the Ohio Green Party and the Franklin County Green Party.