Lakewood resident FitzGerald, 45, along with his running mate, Sharen Swartz Neuhardt, defeated Democrat Larry Ealy and his running mate, Ken Gray, in a statewide primary, according to unofficial results.
Now FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive trumpeting a campaign of accountability and transparency, advances onto November. He’ll then face Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, in the general election.
“On so many issues, Gov. Kasich has led Ohio in the wrong direction, and over the last year, I’ve had hundreds of conversations with the people affected by his policies that don’t help Ohio’s working families but instead cost them more,” FitzGerald said in a statement after officials called the race.
In an exclusive interview with the Register in late April, FitzGerald slammed Kasich, 61, criticizing the incumbent’s positions on the economy, schools and local community services.
“I want to run government for the benefit of the average person in Ohio,” FitzGerald told the Register. “I think, right now, it’s being run for the benefit of a very small group of people. My priority would be working for the average, workingclass, middle-class person in this state.”
Ealy, a self-proclaimed civil rights activist, likely suffered a loss because he hardly campaigned and didn’t market himself.