FitzGerald calls on Kasich to sign pledge to stay in office another four years if reelected as Ohio Governor

by MARC KOVAC | CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF Published:

Columbus -- Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ed FitzGerald called on Republican Gov. John Kasich and Libertarian Charlie Earl to sign a pledge to stay in office for a full-term if they win in November.

The Cuyahoga County executive already added his name to the document, which notes that "running for the governorship of the state of Ohio and guiding our state is a great responsibility … each of us pledges, when elected governor, to serve out the four-year term for which we are running in the 2014 election."

FitzGerald's pledge came amid continuing speculation that Kasich is considering a 2016 presidential run, though the governor and his supporters have remained mum on any such bid.

"Cutting funds to public schools and stalling Ohio's job growth to 45th in the nation does not make Gov. Kasich uniquely qualified to run the country," Lauren Hitt, FitzGerald's spokeswoman, said in a released statement. "By refusing to sign this pledge, Gov. Kasich is making it crystal clear that he's putting his personal ambitions ahead of the interests of Ohioans."

The Feb. 6 statement drew quick criticism from the Ohio Republican Party, which released a pledge of its own urging FitzGerald to add his signature and promise to focus on issues in his current elected office.

"FitzGerald's a guy who, over the course of just a few years, has run about seven different political campaigns for five different positions and lost almost half of those races," Ohio GOP spokesman Chris Schrimpf said in a released statement. "FitzGerald left Lakewood after less than one term as mayor and as soon as he became county executive started plotting his run for governor."

He added, "Instead of sending letters to the media, FitzGerald should be apologizing to the people of Cuyahoga County, who he is abandoning in a futile attempt to yet again gain higher office."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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