Ohio state Sen. Eric Kearney will no longer be on the Democratic ticket with gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald following revelations that Kearney owes more than $800,000 in back taxes.
The announcement came in an email sent out by the FitzGerald campaign Tuesday afternoon saying that the decision for Kearney to step down was mutual, creating a setback for the Cuyahoga County Executive in his 2014 campaign against Gov. John Kasich, The Plain Dealer reported
"I have discussed this with Ed Fitzgerald, and while I will always be grateful for him selecting me to be his running mate, we agree that the best course of action is for me to step aside from the campaign for lieutenant governor and focus on serving the people of the Ninth Senate district," Kearney said.
The email did not mention who FitzGerald might pick to replace the state senator.
The Democratic candidate for Ohio's governor added an explanation for the decision in another email that went out later in the day.
"Eric and I agree about the challenges facing Ohio, and about how important it is for the state to change direction in the next election," said FitzGerald. "Because that is our primary concern, we agreed that it is best for Sen. Kearney to step down from the ticket. Ultimately, the decision of the crucial issues facing Ohio was in danger of being drowned out, making this decision difficult but necessary."
According to Politico, while Kasich is on the list of top targets for the Democrats in 2014, the incumbent governor lead FitzGerald by seven points in a November Quinnipiac poll.
As an African-American from Cincinnati, Kearney was expected to give FitzGerald's ticket a boost. However, that began to change when the Ohio legislator's messy finances were revealed.
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