Top employees are preparing to leave Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald’s campaign, multiple sources have told The Dispatch, choosing to part ways with a candidate who has been bludgeoned by bad headlines all month relating to personal choices he has made.
Campaign manager Nicholas Buis, communication director Daniel McElhatton and press secretary Lauren Hitt are the three FitzGerald staff members preparing to transition away from the campaign, according to sources who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive campaign issues that FitzGerald himself has not announced. Sources said the situation was “still fluid,” but it was likely that at least two – if not all of them – would leave the campaign by week’s end or only work for FitzGerald in greatly reduced roles.
These people are, by the way, legitimate political players among Democrats, as the Dispatch article makes clear. Bius was on Obama's 2012 Florida team; Hitt was on Bill de Blasio's. That they are walking away now, prior to Labor Day... well, it probably means that the Democrats are pretty much going to write off Ohio, now. Which is awful news for Ohio Democrats, as there are no US Senate races, and there's little chance that the Democrats will win either House seat that's considered even remotely competitive. Now, that still leaves the state legislature... but national Democrats currently don't seem to care about races below the federal level, so there you go.
It is in fact remarkable that the Democrats didn't come up with a better candidate to face Ohio governor John Kasich, given how important the state will be for 2016. But they did so; not only is Ed Fitzgerald one of the only candidates that I've ever seen that became less known over time, he's also remarkably good at getting involved in scandals that are simultaneously devastating and tawdry. This really does take a certain amount of perverse political skill, in its way.
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Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: I do not know whether John Kasich can actually win the 2016 Republican nomination. I am pretty sure, though, that if and when he crushes Ed Fitzgerald like a bug at the polls this November then it's going to look like he maybe could win the nomination. It would be interesting if the people that are now looking at Chris Christie and Jeb Bush start looking at Kasich.