The Democratic candidate for governor in 2014, Ed FitzGerald, is expected to announce a new pick for running mate today: attorney Sharen Neuhardt of Yellow Springs.
Neuhardt has run for U.S. Congress twice, most recently losing to Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio’s 10th District.
Despite never having held public office, she says she’s qualified.
“I think when you're looking at the kinds of things that are facing Ohio now that folks look at it and say 'we don't want just another politician in here'," says Neuhardt. She also touted her work as a businesswoman and her commitment to advocating for women’s rights.
She’s FitzGerald’s second attempt at a running mate choice. His previous choice, Eric Kearney of Cincinnati, left the ticket after it was disclosed that he owed almost a million dollars in taxes. FitzGerald's campaign against incumbent Republican Governor John Kasich has been further weakened by the recent suggestion that a fellow Democrat, Todd Portune, will run against him in the May primary election.
The Ohio Republican Party responded quickly to the news of Neuhardt’s candidacy.
“I think like most Ohioans, first I would say, ‘who?'” said Matt Borges, the chair of the Ohio Republican Party, who characterized Sharen Neuhardt as a last choice made at the last minute. “It’s pretty obvious that Ed FitzGerald, who’s lunged and lurched around in the first several months of his campaign, failed his own first tests, by his own admission...in the selection of a running mate.”
Neuhardt discussed her candidacy with Emily McCord Friday in an interview. An official Dayton campaign launch is planned for Saturday afternoon.