We've had this talk before: Ed FitzGerald, a powerful Democrat in the post-Dimora era, charged with ridding Cuyahoga County of corruption and siphoning the waste spigot that's gone unfixed for decades, a possible candidate for Ohio's top spot? Sure, it makes sense.
A sizable population along Lake Erie— a sizable Dem-leaning population — a clean track record, an incumbent governor with all the popularity of houses that hand out toothbrushes at Halloween, and, fingers crossed, an efficient 180-degree turn-around down at the county offices — Fitz, the "Big G," could come out looking like the Dems' best hope come 2014.
And for anyone who's watch FitzGerald's track through Lakewood to the center of Cuyahoga County, a shot at the bigger office wouldn't be surprising.
The Columbus Dispatch is the latest to brief readers on what could be a Fitz vs. Kasich 2014 Battle Royale for all the Buckeyes. When the Dispatch reporter asked FitzGerald's thoughts on seeking the governorship, the County Exec had this to say:
“It just depends how I do in this job, to be honest with you,” he said. “I’ve been asked if I’ll run for this, that and the other office, and I don’t really talk about it because it seems so premature.”
FitzGerald has a point. He has been the county executive only 10 months. After Kasich, no Ohio politician is being watched more closely. Cuyahoga County citizens gave FitzGerald a unique and monumental task — build a new government from scratch — and if he fails, his political career will meet a dead end.
“The fact that we were able to save over $20 million in payroll in the first 10 months without cutting services, I guess we might deserve some credit, but it also indicates things were at a point where they shouldn’t have been allowed to be,” FitzGerald said.
Which is to say, "I didn't cause it, but I'm fixing it." That's too clunky for a campaign slogan, though the message wouldn't be out of place across the state. No worries — he's got a few years to figure out something catchier.