CLEVELAND (AP) -- The top Democratic official in Cuyahoga County has officially entered the campaign to challenge Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich in next year's election.
County Executive Ed FitzGerald kicked off his campaign Wednesday in a crowded Cleveland ballroom, describing the Kasich administration as lobbyist-directed, cutting school aid and backing tax policies that benefit the rich.
FitzGerald plans to repeat the announcement later in Columbus and Cincinnati.
The 44-year-old former FBI agent and Lakewood mayor calls himself a reformer who helped restore integrity to a scandal-ridden county government in Ohio's most populous county.
FitzGerald must fend off critics who seek to use his designation as Public Official 14 in a corruption probe to tarnish his tough-on-crime message. He was never a target and was not charged.