After a year of speculation, Ed FitzGerald made it official today, launching his campaign to unseat John Kasich as Governor of Ohio.

FitzGerald_AnnouncementFitzGerald, the former mayor of Lakewood and current Cuyahoga County Executive, came out swinging, accusing Kasich of using counties, towns and cities like an ATM to balance his own budget.

The impacts of Kasich’s cuts to local government have been widely felt around the state, resulting in police, fire and teacher layoffs.  Ohioans have also seen an explosion of new levies and taxes as local governments try cope with the loss of state funds while still providing basic services.

This isn’t a new issue for FitzGerald, who has his own budget to deal with at the county level. “I didn’t balance my budget by telling my 59 cities you guys are all screwed now and I’m going to cut my funding to you,” FitzGerald told us when Plunderbund interviewed him last May.  “In fact, we had big initiatives with education, law enforcement, health and wellness.”

FitzGerald is a former prosecutor and he worked as an FBI agent assigned to the Organized Crime Task Force in Chicago where he investigated political corruption, skills that will certainly come in handy in a fight against Team Kasich.

FitzGerald’s campaign website is already up and running.  You can follow him on Twitter here.