Talk of Ed Fitzgerald’s inability to connect with the black community in his own county is nothing new.
In fact, it was likely an article about it from The Plain Dealer’s Henry Gomez that led to the hurried and botched rollout of Fitz’s choice of Eric Kearney last November.
Yesterday came more evidence that African-Americans in Ohio aren’t too excited about coming out to vote for Ed Fitzgerald. Yesterday’s roundup from Henry Gomez:
Portune has argued that FitzGerald lacks connections with black voters – a key constituency for the party. While FitzGerald has support of prominent black leaders such as U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Portune has been meeting with others. And he has accepted an invitation to be a grand marshal for the East Cleveland Concerned Pastors for Progress’ March for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jan. 18 in East Cleveland.
You read that right. The parade officials in East Cleveland didn’t invite Cuyahoga County’s own Ed Fitzgerald to marshal their parade. They invited his rival Todd Portune from all the way across the state in Cincinnati.
Fitzgerald’s team will deny it, but that’s a major snub to Ed. Its also a major symbol of how black Democrats in Cuyahoga County currently feel about him.
If Fitz wants any chance to beat Kasich in November, he needs a huge turnout in his own county. Underperforming in Cuyahoga is the major reason Ted Strickland lost in 2010.
And so far, the black community there is sending Ohio a loud signal. They just aren’t enthusiastic at all about Ed Fitzgerald.