CLEVELAND -- Monday afternoon, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced the formation of an exploratory committee to run for Governor in 2014.
"Today, I'm announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to run for governor," said FitzGerald, in a video released on his website.
Watch video announcement here
"But more than that, I'm beginning a conversation with you, the people of Ohio."
FitzGerald highlighted his lifelong commitment to public service and touted his credentials as an FBI special agent, an Assistant County Prosecutor, the Mayor of Lakewood and Cuyahoga County's first County Executive.
"When I started my career I took an oath to serve the public - to put you first. As a special agent with the FBI, I helped put crime bosses and corrupt politicians behind bars," said FitzGerald.
"Now as County Executive, I dismantled a corrupt political patronage machine that was choking my county and holding us back."
FitzGerald channeled the concerns of many Ohioans about the current state of affairs in Columbus.
"One thing I've learned is that many of us have the same concerns and questions about the direction of our state. I believe Ohio has been let down by its leaders, especially a political establishment in state government who stopped listening to the people. They're more interested in scoring partisan points or taking care of the insiders than focusing on what's best for the middle class."
FitzGerald criticized the Kasich administration's record of gutting funding to communities and plans to raise taxes on middle class families.
"Do we really have to settle for a state government that robs our communities, forcing cuts to police, firefighters and teachers? Or is something better possible? Do we really have to settle for a Governor who wants new taxes on everyday Ohioans while giving big tax breaks for those at the top? Or is something better possible? I think something better is possible."
FitzGerald invited Ohioans from all corners of the state and political parties to join his campaign to reclaim Ohio.
"If you're tired of state government taking its cues from the wealthy and well connected instead of Ohio's middle class, join me. If you're tired of a status quo that passes the buck to local communities, while you get nickled and dimed to death, join me."
FitzGerald closed by saying "Ohio belongs to all of us, not just political contributors or big corporations and everyone has a role to play in shaping Ohio's future."