Local Democrats endorse Ed Fitzgerald

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Several Local democrats announced their endorsement of Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald earlier at a press conference in Athens on Thursday.


Democrats from the City and County were in attendance: Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl, County Commissioners Chris Chmiel and Lenny Eliason as well as State Representative Debbie Phillips were in attendance.


The press conference was actually scheduled to be held outside of the Athens County Courthouse, but due to inclement weather, it was moved down the street to Donkey Coffee and Espresso.


All four publicly threw their support behind Democrat Ed Fitzgerald.


Phillips says she predicts the people of Southeast Ohio will become very excited about Fitzgerald's campaign. The speakers want the people of Southeast Ohio to become more familiar with Fitzgerald.


"This is obviously very early in the campaign, and while there are folks here who have expressed to me that they don't know him very well yet, I'm sure the people in Northwestern Ohio didn't know Ted Strickland very well at this time in 2005 and they came to love him as much as we did," Phillips said.


After graduating from Ohio State and attaining his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of law, he served as an F-B-I special agent in Chicago. He then moved back to Ohio to where he has been the Mayor of Lakewood as well as Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor and the first County executive.


“The programs he’s worked on in Cuyahoga County are unique like helping start savings accounts for all of the kindergarteners in the county and investing in early childhood education” Phillips said. “These are really visionary approaches to strengthening the community and that’s what we need here in Southern Ohio. Someone who’s thinking long term and who’s thinking about the well-being of all of the people.”


Fitzgerald, who was not in attendance at this morning's press conference, could be facing competition from potential democratic candidate Richard Cordray in the March Primaries.