Morrow County Democrats rolled out the red carpet at Pine Lakes Golf Club August 14th for candidate for governor, Ed Fitzgerald, candidate for state representative, Jeffrey Lehart and Natalie Haupt, candidate for court of appeals judge. Over 100 Democrats from Morrow County and several from surrounding counties gathered with families and friends to support candidates and hear their message.
Lindsey Kohlenburg of the Democrat Central Committee opened the program with the Invocation before dinner. Cindy Leo of Marengo catered the picnic style buffet. Ed Kline introduced Fitzgerald with a resume of his accomplishments, beginning with the fact he was born into a large family and was the seventh of eight children. He and his wife, Shannon have four children and have been married 21 years.
Kline noted how Fitzgerald worked his way through The Ohio State University and OSU law school. He became a special agent of the FBI and was assigned to the Organized Crime Task Force in Chicago where he worked to hold corrupt politicians accountable. After his FBI service, Fitzgerald returned to Ohio, serving as an assistant county prosecutor and later worked as a plaintiff’s attorney, representing injured workers.
As Mayor of Lakewood, Fitzgerald worked to make government smaller and more efficient, while still making major investments in public safety and job creation. As Cuyahoga County Executive he significantly reduced the size of government and at the same time, made investments in real job creation and established the largest college savings account program in the country.
Fitzgerald’s speech described the five differences between himself and Governor Kasich that centered on his goal of improving the lives of working and middle class citizens. He emphasized several times that Kasich has taken money away from local services and governments as well as public schools and put a greater burden on local government to raise taxes. The audience gave him a standing ovation before he circled the room, taking a few moments to shake hand with many in the audience.
Candidate for District 87 Representative, Jeffrey Lehart spoke after Fitzgerald and pointed out that Ohio has led the country in job loss for many months in 2013 and 2014.
“We plan to work for the 99 percent of our district rather than the 1 percent that funds his (McClain’s) campaign,” Lehart said. “We need to fire Jeff McClain since he is an employee that hasn’t gotten the job done.”
Lehart spoke with feeling about his experience of being laid off from GM in Mansfield at the time of its closing. He has belonged to unions and appreciates the benefits they provide while his opponent was a co-sponsor of Senate bill 5 that would have limited the rights of unions’ collective bargaining.
Candidate for Court of Appeals Judge, Natalie Haupt began her speech by saying she is the granddaughter of a coal miner. She said that impartiality from the bench is a most important quality. She worked for and was mentored by a judge who was in the courts for many years. She worked as an Assistant Public Defender and is a graduate of Case Western Law School.
The event committee for the Democratic rally included Lindsey Kohlenburg, Judy McKirgan, Doug Lawrence, Ed Kline, Dick Sears and Susan Grundy. Joyce and Mike Ray won the raffle for the three day trip at a Tennessee resort lodge.
More photos available online.
Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel.