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FitzGerald looks to November

Edward FitzGerald is looking past the Democratic primary to the general election against Republican Gov. John Kasich. And it’s just as well, because his primary challenger, Larry Ealy, 51, a former tow-truck driver from the Dayton area who said he’s now living on $800 a month in disability, simply has no business being in the race.

It’s too bad somebody with a realistic chance didn’t emerge to challenge the 45-year-old FitzGerald. He could use the seasoning before close combat with Kasich begins.

FitzGerald is already trying to convince voters they are worse off after three-plus years of Kasich, and that the governor’s election victory in 2010 was the result of a bad Ohio economy that FitzGerald believes was wrongly blamed on then-Gov. Ted Strickland, rather than on the international economic downturn.

FitzGerald, a family man with a boyish face, touts an impressive resume of civil service and elected office that includes stints as an FBI agent tackling organized crime and corruption in Chicago, an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor, a Lakewood councilman, the mayor of Lakewood and now Cuyahoga County’s first executive…

FitzGerald gets our endorsement in the primary but the contest with Ealy isn’t testing him or his tendency to get prickly when challenged.

Once FitzGerald and Sharen Swartz Neuhardt, his running mate for lieutenant governor (and, judging from the endorsement interview, cheerleader-in-chief), get past the May 6 primary, voters should get a much better idea of how he stacks up against Kasich. Early voting has begun.

 

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer