The road to the governor's mansion in Columbus, Ohio runs straight through southwest Ohio in 2014.
With that in mind, Democratic nominee Ed FitzGerald was in town Thursday to talk about his new universal pre-kindergarten proposal and stopped by the WCPO to chat with Clyde Gray. (Watch the full interview above)
In the exclusive interview, FitzGerald discussed a variety of topics and questioned what Republican Gov. John Kasich calls the “miracle” of Ohio’s economic comeback.
Kasich says jobs are growing in state and it's only going to get better. He credits a strong network of businesses throughout the region.
“Companies like Abbott Laboratories and when you add P&G and Chinese investment, there is real reason to be optimistic,” Kasich said at an event earlier in the day. “You’ve got Dayton and the whole region is just going to do better and better and better.”
It was announced Thursday that Procter & Gamble plans to establish a multi-category distribution center in the Dayton area that is projected to create 800 new jobs.
But FitzGerald says Kasich financed that miracle by raiding the local government fund, causing a “damaging” ripple effect.
“It's led to teachers being laid off, firefighters being laid off and police officers being laid off,” he said. “And it also led to a lot of local tax increases, which I don't think is fiscally conservative or responsible.
“And I think it breaks a partnership that should exist between a governor and local communities."
According to the data from PPP, a Democratic-leaning polling company , 43 percent of Ohio voters would support FitzGerald, while 47 percent would vote for the incumbent.
In response, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:
“After four years of a Kasich administration, a majority of consistent polling shows that Governor Kasich cannot break 50 percent with Ohio voters. No matter how many millions the Republicans spend trying to convince us otherwise, Ohio’s middle class families know that Kasich’s policies are not working for them.”
The PPP poll is in line with a poll conducted by conservative polling firm Rasmussen Reports over the last week, which found FitzGerald and Kasich separated by seven points.
You can watch the full 20-minute video in the media player above