Ed FitzGerald

Republicans sweep Ohio statewide races

Nov 5, 2014
Andy Chow

It was a big night for Republicans as the party swept all the statewide races in Ohio and brought momentum into Gov. John Kasich’s second term. While the Democrats now find themselves in a big state of unrest.

Gov. John Kasich took the stage to deliver his victory speech with energy and a clear message. He says Ohio voters are showing that the Republican Party is now a more welcoming group that invites all sorts of people who may not have supported their issues in the past.

Michael Keating

With the election just about a week away.  WVXU politics reporter talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about a flap over a sign at the polls in Ohio and the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky. 

Early last Tuesday morning – the first day of early in-person voting at Ohio’s boards of elections – we stopped by the Hamilton County Board of Elections downtown fully expecting to see a line of voters eager to cast the first ballots in the 2014 election.

In past years – particularly gubernatorial and presidential elections – there have been long lines outside the board’s offices on Broadway, sometimes stretching around the block. Sometimes, people would camp out overnight on the sidewalk to be first in line.

Not this time.

Every sign points to a blow-out in the Ohio governor’s race, with Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald going down to a massive defeat at the hands of Republican incumbent John Kasich.

You never know what might happen to turn that around, but the polls show it coming – a Quinnipiac University poll of likely Ohio voters last week had FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, down by 22 percentage point with about five weeks left.

Even worse, one in four Democratic voters polled by Quinnipiac said they plan to vote for Kasich.

With less than five weeks to go before election day, the Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, Ed FitzGerald, trails Republican incumbent John Kasich by 22 percentage points, according to an independent poll released Wednesday.

Perhaps the worst news in Quinnipiac University’s poll of likely Ohio voters is that one out of four Democrats surveyed said they would vote for the Republican Kasich.

Ohio's Governor's race is about a month away.  WVXU Political reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about the race.

For the first time since 1978, Ohioans will vote for governor without having a chance to hear the two major party candidates go head-to-head in a debate.

That’s nine gubernatorial election cycles ago, folks.

Howard Wilkinson

Trailing in the polls and the contest for campaign dollars, Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald brought most of the statewide Democratic ticket with him Tuesday morning for a rally in Cincinnati's Washington Park, one of the last stops on a eight-city bus tour of the state.

There were about 75 supporters who showed up for the morning event, but FitzGerald sees the “Tour to Restore Ohio” as a way of making up for the lack of financial resources and drumming up enthusiasm among the Democratic base in Ohio.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

After weeks of bad headlines, low poll numbers and disappointing fundraising, there’s a major shakeup rattling the campaign of the Democratic candidate for governor.

Ohio's jobless rate goes up

Aug 15, 2014

For the first time in nine months, Ohio’s unemployment rate went up last month.   The news has the political spin machines working on high speed.

Ohio’s jobless rate was 5.7 in July, up from 5.5 in June. Ben Johnson with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says that’s not reason to think that means the state’s economy is failing:

“We don’t think that the overall trend has changed. We believe that the economy is slowly improving and will continue to slowly improve.

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the Ohio governor's race and the recent problems of Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald; and how he is trying to get his campaign back on track.

Is the ship sinking for Ohio Democrats in the governor’s race?

Democratic Party leaders insist that it is not, but there is no question that the ship has been taking on water at an alarming rate in the past few weeks.

And the fear among some Democrats is that if their candidate for governor, Ed FitzGerald, sinks under the waves, he might take the Democrats’ down-ticket statewide candidates – for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor – down to the bottom of the deep blue sea with him.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald trails incumbent Republican John Kasich by 12 percentage points and is still not well known to about two-third of Ohio voters, according to an independent poll released this morning.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which polls voters in key states, has Kasich with 48 percent to FitzGerald’s 36 percent.

In May, Kasich led FitzGerald by 15 percentage points in the last Quinnipiac Poll.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about where the Ohio governor's race stands, less than four months from election day.

Addendum: There were other cities that have hosted both the Democratic and Republican National Convention in the same year - most recently, Miami Beach in 1972 and Chicago in 1952.

Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, has been campaigning for a year and a half in his quest to oust Republican governor John Kasich, but this past week marked a first for the FitzGerald campaign.

For the first time, Ohio voters began seeing Fitzgerald, the Cuyahoga County Executive, in a 30-second campaign TV ad.

Michael Keating

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with Maryanne Zeleznik about Sen. Rand Paul stumping in Cincinnati; and Democrat Ed Fitzgerald's chances to defeat Republican incumbent John Kasich in the Ohio governor's race.

Should supporters of Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, be dancing in the streets over an independent poll released last week, that had Kasich with a 15 percentage point lead over Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald.

Or should they, as Ohio Democrats believe, hold off on their “happy dance,” with over five months left before election day?

It depends on how seriously you take polls in election campaigns. It depends on how much you believe in the power of money in politics.

Monday night at the Medina Performing Arts Center, in front of the Ohio General Assembly, Ohio Gov. John Kasich will deliver his fourth State of the State address.

He is sincerely hoping it won’t be his last.

Unlike his previous State of the State messages, which Kasich has taken out of the Statehouse in Columbus and turned them into a traveling road show, this one will be in his re-election year.

This will be the year when the Republican governor, will be running for re-election to a second term.

Michael E. Keating

Now that Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune has decided not to run for Ohio Governor, WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about what happened:

Tana Weingartner

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune has given up plans to challenge Ed FitzGerald in a Democratic  primary race for Ohio Governor.

Portune's decision came only five days before the Wednesday filing deadline for statewide candidates. After crisscrossing the state since early December trying to drum up support, in the end he could not muster enough support or overcome the opposition of the Ohio Democratic Party, which has endorsed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald will come to Butler County's heavily-Republican Liberty Township tonight for a fundraising event.

FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County Executive who has been endorsed for governor by the Ohio Democratic Party, will be at a reception and fundraiser at 5 p.m. at the home of Kathy Wyenandt, the chair of the Butler County Democratic Party executive committee.

The incumbent Republican governor, John Kasich, defeated then-Democratic governor Ted Strickland in 2010 by a large margin - 74,972 votes to Strickland's 40,153.

In or out?

The clock is ticking on Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune’s ambition to be the Democratic nominee for governor; and Portune probably has little more than a week to make up his mind.

Portune is saying that, by the end of the week, he should be ready to announce one way or the other about whether he will be a candidate for Ohio governor.

It’s a long shot; a 70-yard “Hail Mary” pass into the end zone for Portune to begin with.

Michael Keating

The field of candidates for the Ohio Governor's race is far from settled.  WVXU Political reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about what to expect in the next several weeks before the filing deadlines.

A few weeks ago, the 2014 Ohio gubernatorial race looked like a fairly simple affair.

John Kasich, the incumbent Republican, was set to face off in the fall with a Democrat, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

The conventional wisdom was that Kasich was the favorite for re-election, although there was polling out there that suggested that FitzGerald – still a relative unknown outside of northeast Ohio – was within striking distance.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune says he’s moving forward with plans to run for Ohio Governor. He’s forming an exploratory committee and beginning work on the necessary paperwork from the Board of Elections. 

That’s despite not having the backing of the Ohio Democratic Party.

Portune says Ohioans deserve a choice.

Michael Keating

WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about State Senator Eric Kearney dropping off the Democratic Gubernatorial Ticket with Ed FitzGerald and what could happen next.

Ohio Senate

Despite owing nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in unpaid state and federal taxes, State Sen. Eric Kearney made it clear Wednesday morning that he has no intention of stepping down as the Democratic candidate for Ohio lieutenant governor.

“I’m in it to stay,’’ the North Avondale Democrat said in a teleconference with Ohio reporters that lasted well over an hour Wednesday. “My wife and I made the decision that we’re going to do this and we’re going to do it; and we’re here to follow it through.”

Despite being unknown to seven out of 10 Ohio registered voters, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald is gaining on Republican incumbent governor John Kasich, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

In the poll, conducted Nov. 19-24, Kasich had 44 percent to FitzGerald’s 37 percent. In June, Kasich held a 14 percentage point lead over FitzGerald, who is the elected Cuyahoga County executive.

Michael Keating

This week, WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about Eric Kearney joining Democrat Ed FitzGerald on his gubernatorial ticket.

If old guard Republicans in Hamilton County were the type to use Internet slang, they might be typing “smh” when they see what is going on with their county and the Ohio Democratic Party these days.

“Scratching my head,’’ for those who don’t keep up with internet slang.

There was a time, a few decades ago, when the Ohio Democratic Party barely acknowledged the existence of Hamilton County; they turned their heads and pretended extreme southwest corner of the state didn’t exist because it was so thoroughly Republican.

Those days are gone.

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