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FitzGerald picks Dayton attorney Sharen Neuhardt as his running mate
Democratic gubernatorial candidate will appear with Neuhardt in Dayton Saturday

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Ed FitzGerald's new guvernatorial running mate.
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In The Region:

Democrat Ed FitzGerald has chosen Dayton-area attorney Sharen Neuhardt as his running mate in his race against Republican Gov. John Kasich.

Neuhardt confirmed today she’ll  be on the Democratic ticket, and reported late this morning that FitzGerald is scheduled to appear with her at a Saturday rally in Dayton.

Neuhardt replaces state Sen. Eric Kearney, who dropped out last month after hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes and other liens came to light.

Neuhardt ran twice – unsuccessfully – for Congress and is known as an abortion rights advocate.

She told WHIO radio this morning that jobs and women's rights are her main issues.

LISTEN: Neuhardt on her priorities

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"The Kasich administration has used a lot of smoke and mirrors. I am appalled ... at what they've done to try to relegate women to being second-class citizens in this state. And I am really mad at the fact that they're trying to say Ohio is such a leader in job growth and development when the facts clearly indicate we are 46th out of 50 in terms of job growth."

Neuhardt gives the ticket geographic and gender diversity, and is considered a strong fundraiser. She’s a corporate law attorney.

Ohio Republican Party spokesman Chris Schrimpf e-mailed a criticism of the choice, dismissing Neuhardt as FitzGerald’s “third-string backup.”

Before FitzGerald can take on Kasich in November’s general election, he may have a Democratic primary challenger in May; Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune is considering a run and some reports have paired him with former Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is not commenting.

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