Thursday, May 16, 2013

Candidate for Ohio governor Ed FitzGerald receives early endorsement as the Ohio State Council of Machinists announces its support, Democrat FitzGerald has support from Democrats though Republican Governor Kasich has his ear in Cleveland's Black political community, FitzGerald needs staunch support from Cleveland, greater Cleveland elected officials, Black leaders, Black state legislators to beat Kasich in next year's gubernatorial race

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald

From The Metro Desk of Cleveland Urban News.Com and The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, Ohio's No 1 and No 2 online Black news venues (www.clevelandurbannews.comReach Cleveland Urban News.Com by email at editor@clevelandurbannews.com and by phone at 216-659-0473

COLUMBUS, Ohio- On Sunday, Democratic Cuyahoga County Executive and former FBI agent and prior Lakewood mayor Ed FitzGerald received the official endorsement from the Ohio State Council of Machinists that represents 30,000 workers and retirees in Ohio in his bid to unseat Republican Gov John Kasich in the 2014 gubernatorial race. But can he generate enough love and support needed from rural and Appalachia voters and from Ohio Democratic Black elected officials in greater Cleveland and his own county to perpetuate his dream into a reality?

"The Ohio State Council of Machinists is proud to announce its endorsement for Ed
FitzGerald running to be Ohio's next governor," said  Ohio State Council of 
Machinists President T. Dean Wright, Jr. in a press release to 
Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read online Black newspaper. "Since 
announcing our support for him  years ago, Ed FitzGerald has proven us right by 
making government work for middle class families. Ed is clearly the right choice for
workers in Ohio, and we look forward to supporting him." 

In response, FitzGerald said that he is pleased with the endorsement.

"I'm honored to have such strong and early support from the Ohio State Council of
Machinists. This historic organization has represented Ohio workers with the 
highest honor, and I hope to do the same as their governor," said FitzGerald. "In the 
coming months I look forward to working with them to find the best ways to help to
protect workers in Ohio. I am deeply appreciative of their longstanding support 
throughout my years in public service." 

From serving as an FBI agent on the Organized Crime Task Force, assistant
Cuyahoga County prosecutor, Lakewood mayor, the county executive of Ohio's 
largest county, a county that is roughly 29 percent Black, includes Cleveland and 
is a Democratic stronghold FitzGerald, 43, brags that he has "brought down corrupt
public officials, cleaned up government, and fought to make government work for 
the middle class."

The moderately young Democrat that his party hopes will bring a fresh perspective to next year's statewide office races has announced and not yet announced 
endorsements from practically every powerful Democratic elected official in Ohio, 
though Kasich has his ear in Cleveland's Black political community and has a 
relationship with some powerful Black leaders.

Some Black elected officials of the majority Black city like him, and he has partnered
with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, up for a third term this year,  on educational 
reform issues and the successful passage last year of the Cleveland schools tax levy.

But whether Jackson and other Democrats like the controversial Republican  
governor enough to endorse him for reelection over fellow Democrat
FitzGerald remains to be seen, and is unlikely.

Too much is at stake on pubic policy matters impacting the Black, poor and 
middle and working class communities and Mayor Jackson is a relatively loyal
Democrat, except when he comes to his love of the city schools, majority Black
public schools that he controls as mayor under a state law that took effect in 1998 
after the state and school district were released from a longstanding desegregation 
court order. 

Next year's governor's race for Ohio might be closer than some political pundits 
predict as FitzGerald is only 10 points behind Kasich in polls since announcing
formally last month that he is in the race to win. 

Kasich though is wiser since taking office in 2011 when he had no Blacks in his 
cabinet and angered the Cleveland Chapter Southern Christian Leadership 
Conference, which is led by Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church Senior Pastor The Rev. E. Theophilis Caviness,  now the first vice president of the Cleveland Chapter NAACP who picketed the governor at the Statehouse in Columbus two years ago. 

Caviness organized buses that traveled to Columbus to get Kasich for his no Blacks 
in his cabinet crap in cooperation with the state NAACP and with Marcia McCoy.

Also an NAACP affiliate, McCoy now works for Jackson as an outreach coordinator to try to lure students back to Cleveland schools and leads the Rev Al Sharpton's greater Cleveland branch of his National Action Network. 

But Kasich has tried to mend fences since then, appointing Blacks to his cabinet, 
pushing a new state law for expungment of felony and misdemeanor criminal records
with state Sen. Shirley Smith (D-21) of Cleveland , and getting monies in the state 
budget for projects like renovation of the Eastside Market in Cleveland's Glenville 
Neighborhood, and transportation expansion projects.

FitzGerald must win staunch support from Black leaders in Cleveland and greater 
Cleveland, including Black ministers, 11th Congressional District Congresswoman 
Marca L. Fudge and Black state legislators to beat Kasich, the political landscape 
suggests.