The rumors about Cuyahoga County Executive Tommy Carcetti taking his talents from the shores of Lake Erie to the Ohio Governor's mansion have been around ever since Carcetti jumped from lowly city council to Mayor of Baltimore.
Wait, that's not right.
Oh yeah, County head Ed FitzGerald has had his name attached to a possible run in 2014 against John Kasich in a battle royale for all the buckeyes. It's a natural question to ask, even if Fitz with a Big G is still in the midst of his first term here in Northeast Ohio. He's cleaned up corruption in the halls where patronage used to dominate and, as the PD points out today, FitzGerald has attended all the right meetings and talked with all the key players in what could be a possible run-up to a showdown with Kasich.
In recent weeks the Democrat has emerged as a top Cleveland-area surrogate for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, headlined a party fund-raiser in the Toledo area and met with influential leaders in other key parts of Ohio.
FitzGerald also is using the power of his current job to build a reputation as a consensus-builder and problem-solver. This week, for example, he convened elected officials from several counties to discuss a state-funded turnpike study but notably snubbed members of first-term Republican Gov. John Kasich's administration when they fished for invitations.
FitzGerald, 43, acknowledged to The Plain Dealer that he is considering a bid to unseat Kasich, but he said he does not expect to decide until next year. At the moment, the former Lakewood mayor is not as well-known as the others weighing a run, namely former Gov. Ted Strickland, former Attorney General Richard Cordray and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.
Maybe once he gets Bubs' endorsement, he'll vault the other possible candidates on the list.