Fitzgerald Challenges Kasich To Sign 4-Year Pledge As Presidential Talk Heats Up

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UPDATED: Friday February 7, 2014 6:05 PM

Democratic candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald has challenged Gov. John Kasich to sign a pledge that he will serve out a full four-year term if he is reelected this November.

The challenge comes in wake of growing national speculation that Kasich is planning a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

"While Ed FitzGerald was serving his county as an FBI agent and a prosecutor, Governor Kasich was busy orchestrating his own partisan career," said FitzGerald Campaign Communications Director Daniel McElhatton. "As a State Senator, Congressman, author of Contract on America, Fox News talking head, Lehman Brothers executive and the handpicked candidate of Wall Street, Governor Kasich has made politics work for him rather than Ohio's working families."

In response, the Ohio Republican Party challenged FitzGerald to sign a pledge to finish his term as Cuyahoga County Executive.

"Before Ed FitzGerald plays a political game, you'd think he'd remember his record of political opportunism," said Ohio Republican Party spokesman Chris Schrimpf. "FitzGerald's a guy who, over the course of just a few years, has run about seven different political campaigns for 5 different positions and lost almost half of those races."

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl signed the pledge with FitzGerald.

The Washington Post, the National Journal and Politico are three national publications that have speculated on a possible Kasich presidential candidacy in recent weeks.

Last February, 10TV's Jim Heath asked Kasich about a potential presidential run.

"Are you kidding me?" responded Kasich.  "I hope somebody, maybe Sen. (Rob) Portman could be president."

Strategists from both parties are debating what impact the presidential rumors could have on the race for governor.

"Does Kasich want to be governor or president?" asked Democratic strategist Dale Butland.  "The mystery is why on earth he thinks he deserves a promotion."

"Ed FitzGerald has never even finished a job," said Republican strategists Bob Clegg.  "He left during his term as mayor of Lakewood and now he's leaving as Cuyahoga County executive."

There will be much more debate coming up on Capitol Square this Sunday morning at 11:30 am on 10TV.

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