YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Just two days after announcing his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor, Ed FitzGerald, 44, is in Youngstown and appeared as a guest on TV-21's Mid-Day News.
FitzGerald is a former FBI agent who served as Mayor of Lakewood, Ohio but left before the end of his first to take his current position of Cuyahoga County Executive.
Later, he was joined by several local democrats at a small barbershop in Austintown, where he criticized Governor Kasich's plan to reduce the state income tax, but apply the tax to more services.
"You know getting a haircut was never taxed before but under his plan it would be," FitzGerald said.
Even though a recent poll showed that 76 percent of Ohioans said they're not familiar with Ed FitzGerald, he thinks another poll will work in his favor.
"The last poll, 52 percent said they wanted a different governor, so look. The challenger always starts out with not as many people knowing who he is," he said.
FitzGerald did gain some recognition as an outspoken critic of the Kasich plan to privatize the Ohio Turnpike, which he says would have hurt Cuyahoga County and the Mahoning Valley.
"But you had a state government that's been so hostile to local government and local schools that it's forced local officials to get involved in state issues in ways they never have before," FitzGerald said.
FitzGerald drew applause when he talked about what he admires about the Mahoning Valley.
"The reason I love the Valley so much is because it's taken a lot of shots but it's never quit. It never gives up," he said.
On the surge in oil and gas development, FitzGerald says he wants a more balanced benefit for local governments and communities, not just the state.
Over the months ahead, FitzGerald says he'll travel the state with a campaign message that will focus on issues to benefit the working people of Ohio.