Ohio vote clears way for Kasich-FitzGerald faceoff

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) and Cleveland Democrat Ed FitzGerald can now begin the 2014 gubernatorial campaign in earnest, with the pesky primary behind them.

The Kasich-FitzGerald match-up is expected to be among the nation's most closely watched contests. Some $10 million in combined fundraising has already been reported, mostly by Kasich.

FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County executive, easily defeated Larry Ellis Ealy, a little-known high school dropout from suburban Dayton, on Tuesday.

Kasich's nomination was uncontested. But his road to primary victory wasn't without its bumps. A fellow Republican and a tea party activist both tried but failed to mount successful primary challenges against the first-term governor.

FitzGerald tells supporters he'll focus on "making Ohio work for everyone." Kasich will emphasize his economic record, including reduced unemployment.

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