Candidate for Ohio governor stops in the Valley - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Candidate for Ohio governor stops in the Valley

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The race to become Ohio's next governor is heating up. The presumptive Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald stopped in the valley and spoke with 21 News about the race after Gov. John Kasich's State of the State Address last week.

The most recent Quinnipiac University poll shows Governor John Kasich still in the lead in the race to become Ohio's next governor but Ed Fitzgerald has gained slightly. The poll showed Kasich ahead 43-38 percent.

A top priority for voters is jobs and the economy.

Fitzgerald said that his focus would be on small businesses.

"I think some of it is low interest loans. I think some of it is creating a tax system and a regulatory environment that encourages them to expand."

During his state of the state address, Kasich said that his administration has made 50 percent cuts in small business taxes and cut income taxes by 10 percent.

He proposed lowering the tax rate to below 5 percent to give more money back to workers.

"If your priority is to continue to lower taxes for the wealthiest people in the state, while raising sales taxes on everyone else and also paying for that by cutting funds to education and local government then you're going to have what you've had for the last few years, local people stuck with the bill."

Fitzgerald said that he would do what he has done as the mayor of Lakewood and Cuyahoga County executive to balance the budget.

"What your priorities should be is how do you go through every single element and function of government and try to figure out a way to make it more efficient."

Regarding the state's oil and gas severance tax, Fitzgerald said that he would want to talk with the oil and gas industry about how many local people they plan to hire before negotiating a tax rate.

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