The Democrat who would like to be Ohio’s next governor has chosen his running mate. As Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, the candidate for lieutenant governor is no stranger to statewide politics.
State Sen. Eric Kearney is the state senate’s minority leader. He’s also term limited so he can’t run for re-election next year. But Kearney’s name will be on the ticket as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald’s running mate. Kearney, an African-American lawyer from the Cincinnati area, says he’s excited about the decision to being FitzGerald’s running mate.
“I’m very proud of my Cincinnati roots and that’s probably a big consideration for Ed FitzGerald. Also, I have experience at the Statehouse. I’ve been very honored to serve as minority leader of the Ohio Senate, and I’ve been able to pass a number of bills by working with our colleagues from across the aisle."
History shows from presidential elections to gubernatorial elections, there is typically a drop off, particularly among Democrats and African American voters. Does Kearney think his presence on the ticket will help inspire those voters to go to the polls? When asked that question, Kearney responds this way:
“I’m very excited about the state of Ohio. I think this is an opportunity to really delve into a lot of the big issues statewide, and that's appealing to me. Ed FitzGerald’s energy is appealing to me. And his desire to really help the average Ohioan is something that appeals to me."
The Ohio Republican Party’s Chris Schrimpf calls Kearney’s appointment an interesting choice. Schrimpf says it will help draw a sharp contrast with his candidate, Republican Gov. John Kasich.
“On the one hand, you have Gov. Kasich and Lt. Gov. Taylor who have advocated for lower taxes, who have balanced an $8 billion shortfall, who have helped create 160,000 private sector jobs," Schrimpf said. "On the other hand, you have Ed FitzGerald’s running mate who voted against tax relief, who called it un-American, who in the past supported the disastrous Strickland budgets that helped create the job loss that we saw before Republicans took office. So I don’t think this pick is going to help FitzGerald very much, and it’s going to help us create a very clear contrast between the two parties."