Signaling that he's moving closer to a Democratic run for governor, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has hired veteran campaign adviser Aaron Pickrell of Columbus.
Signaling that he’s moving closer to a Democratic run for governor, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has hired veteran campaign adviser Aaron Pickrell of Columbus.
An Iowa native, Pickrell has made a name for himself in Ohio politics, particularly after managing back-to-back successful Ohio campaigns for Gov. Ted Strickland in 2006 and President Barack Obama in 2008. Pickrell also managed Strickland’s losing 2010 re-election campaign against Republican John Kasich, and he was senior adviser to Obama’s 2012 campaign in Ohio.
“I like Ed a lot and will help him look at this,” Pickrell said. “He’s exploring whether he wants to run or not, and I’m helping him look at how all of that would come together.”
Pickrell, 40, is a principle in Midwest Gateway Partners, a Columbus-based consulting firm led by Strickland.
FitzGerald also has retained Sarah Slavik, deputy finance director for Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s 2012 successful re-election run, for fundraising advice.
FitzGerald, who has raised his profile in Democratic circles by speaking to party groups across the state in recent months, told The Dispatch last week that he would make a decision in the first quarter of this year.
He has said he either will seek the Democratic nomination against Kasich or run for another four-year term as Cuyahoga County executive in 2014.
“I need to make a decision soon,” he said, referring to the fundraising demands of a race for governor.
Other Democrats mulling gubernatorial bids include U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Barberton. Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray of Grove City also could opt to run if the U.S. Senate refuses to confirm him as head of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.