State Representative Armond Budish of Beachwood says he's running for Cuyahoga County Executive in the 2014 election. ideastream's Nick Castele reports Budish, who just stepped down as House minority leader, already has the backing of current executive Ed FitzGerald and a number of other prominent Democrats.
Armond Budish won election to the Ohio House in 2006, and served as speaker of the House for two years starting in 2009.
Budish acknowledged that county is still suffering from brain drain and abandoned homes.
BUDISH: "We've lost population here in Cuyahoga County. We've lost population in Cleveland. We're not keeping pace. We need to bring people into Northeast Ohio."
He said he'd market the region more forcefully to attract new talent and businesses. He promised to tailor worker training to employers' needs. And he said he'd set up a fund to help cash-strapped local governments provide services.
Ed FitzGerald, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and State Representatives Sandra Williams and Nickie Antonio were all on hand at the new Ernst and Young building in Cleveland's Flats.
Kaptur described Budish as someone who learned to reach across the aisle in the Ohio House, where he was speaker and later minority leader.
FitzGerald said he believes Budish will continue where he will leave off, promoting new development and managing county services.
FITZGERALD: "My biggest concern was to make sure that we were going to turn the reins over to somebody who was going to continue down the path that we started."
Former county sheriff Bob Reid, who's also running for county executive, congratulated Budish, but said he was surprised FitzGerald came forward to endorse a possible successor.
FitzGerald said he endorsed Budish so soon because he thought he was the right person for the job, and that ultimately the voters will decide.