Neuhardt Says Kasich Record Is Bad Business For Ohio

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UPDATED: Friday January 17, 2014 5:35 PM

Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Sharen Neuhardt wasted no time Friday trying to exploit what Democrats believe is a real vulnerability for governor John Kasich, his record on women's issues.

"What the governor is doing and the Republican controlled legislature when it comes to women and trying to relegate them to second class citizens isn't good for business," said Neuhardt.  "When women earn 23 cents less on the dollar then men in Ohio, that's an economic issue.  That's holding Ohio back.  We have a Republican legislature that seems to be hell bent on trying to make women second class citizens and that’s wrong.  I’m happy to stand up and say so."

Niehardt, a Dayton attorney and former two-time congressional candidate, says the economy will be the top issue in the campaign.

"John Kasich's real vulnerability is the fact he can't back up what he's saying about how well Ohio is doing," said Neuhardt.  "The average middle class Ohioan doesn't think so.  We are 46th out of 50th in job growth in the country.  The middle class in Ohio are beginning to think they may never see their way out of this."

Neuhardt replaces Eric Kearney on the ticket.  Kearney withdrew from the race several weeks after being announced as FitzGerald's running mate due to back taxes totaling over $800,000.

The campaign spent weeks vetting potential candidates before FitzGerald decided on Neuhardt late last week.

"Actually, I got the phone call last Saturday from Ed asking me to be his running mate," said Neuhardt.  "I had just come back from the grocery store and I was wondering, 'oh my gosh, are all my frozen things going to melt?'  So it's a real life experience there."

Neuhardt, who has taken a leave from her law firm to spend the year campaigning, said she was not expecting the offer to be on the ticket.

"My first thought was wow," said Neuhardt.  "A policeman's kid from Dayton gets asked to run as lieutenant governor.  Isn't that what the American dream is all about?  I'm honored."

The Ohio Republican Party wasted no time condemning the pick, pointing out that Neuhardt had lost two recent congressional bids by large margins.

"Today FitzGerald is putting in the third-string backup to his original choice which only reinforces what we learned two months ago, that he simply doesn't have what it takes to lead a state," said GOP spokesman Chris Schrimpf.

The choice of Neuhardt was applauded by abortion rights groups, while condemned by Ohio Right to Life.

Other members of the Democratic slate for 2014 also put out statements supporting her.

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