Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald Visits Athens

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The governor’s race returned to southeast Ohio Saturday.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald visited Athens to share his vision for the Buckeye State.

"Who does the governor work for in the first place,” Fitzgerald says. “I mean, I think the state’s been run really for the benefit of a very small group of people and it's hurt a lot of local communities."

Critics of Governor John Kasich say he's hurting Ohio’s middle class.

"His policies with public education have really hurt a lot of the schools in our region; I just think that the priorities are wrong,” says State Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Albany).

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald says local schools have taken a hit and voters are hurting.

"In terms of taking money out that could have gone for police and fire services,” he says. “I think the state needs to have a real partnership with local communities and I don't think we've seen that -- and that's one of the reasons the economy is still not really where it should be."

Supporters say Fitzgerald is giving Kasich a run for his money and keeping with his commitment to the working class.

"I think he's more supportive of the middle class than John Kasich is and I think Ohio is a state made primarily of the middle class,” says Caitlin Roberts, president of Ohio University College Democrats.

Meanwhile in Columbus, the governor seems proud of his economic record.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Buckeye State ranks first in the Midwest for job gains.

The governor's Twitter account reflects that stat.

He shared this photo Friday, showing eight Ohio newspaper headlines for new jobs.

But his opponent doesn't seem impressed.

"A lot of the jobs that have been created have been low wage, minimum wage jobs,” Fitzgerald says. “There's a million people in Ohio now trying to support a family on the minimum wage."

Unemployment under the governor currently sits at 6.5 percent, that's two points lower than the national average.

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