Cleveland Democrat enters 2014 Ohio governor race

CLEVELAND (AP) — The top Democratic official in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County has officially entered the campaign to challenge Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) in next year’s election.

County Executive Ed FitzGerald kicked off his campaign Wednesday in a crowded Cleveland ballroom, describing the Kasich administration as lobbyist-directed, cutting school aid and backing tax policies that benefit the rich.

FitzGerald plans to repeat the announcement later in Columbus and Cincinnati.

The 44-year-old former FBI agent and Lakewood mayor calls himself a reformer who helped restore integrity to a scandal-ridden county government in Ohio’s most populous county.

FitzGerald must fend off critics who seek to use his designation as Public Official 14 in a corruption probe to tarnish his tough-on-crime message. He was never a target and was not charged.

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