ST.?CLAIRSVILLE --?"Don't wait, but go out now and do all you can for me, Jennifer (Garrison), and John (Carney)."
That was the message Ed FitzGerald had at the Belmont County Democrat Party's 54th Annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner held at Undo's West in St. Clairsville on Thursday.
FitzGerald is a candidate for Ohio governor. Garrison, a candidate for the U.S. Congress, Sixth District, and Carney wants to be Ohio's next state auditor.
FitzGerald talked about balancing the state budget at the expense of local governments and others, and about raising the state sales tax. He said he would represent all of the people, not just a few. "We must fix funding for schools as well as local governments," he said.
Born in a large family and being the seventh of eight children, FitzGerald said he is aware of hard work and sacrifice. "I learned those lessons at an early age." he said. He worked his way through The Ohio State University and later night school, and then embarked on a lifetime of public service. He was a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and worked in the Chicago area.
After a stellar career with the FBI, he returned to Ohio sand served as an assistant county prosecutor and then mayor Lakewood. He is currently is the County Executive of Cuyahoga County, He and his wife, Shannon have four teenage children.
FitzGerald talked about the situation at Ormet and the potential shutdown of the plant which provides employment for for 1,000 people. He said there are 1,000 good paying jobs on the line and Gov. Kasich has said absolutely nothing about it.
Gordie Longshaw, Belmont County Democrat Party president, was master of ceremonies. There was a moment of silence for former Congressman Charles Wilson who died in April of complications from a stroke.
Two Belmont County office holders who retired this past year were also recognized. The were Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer Sargus and Treasurer Joseph A. Gaudio. Current Democrat party office holders were also introduced.
Garrison and Carney spoke briefly.
Carney, a dynamic speaker, spoke about his early childhood and how he was told to get a job if he wanted to go to college. "I learned about hard work and sacrifice at an early age," he said. Carney is a three-term Ohio Representative and he and h is wife have two daughters. His wife is an attorney.
The National Anthem at the dinner wa sung by Robert Doddril of Bellaire while John C. Lehman gave the invocation. Attorney Michael Shaheen introduced FitzGerald at the dinner.
FitzGerald was a guest at the Shaheen home prior to the dinner,