This year’s Ohio gubernatorial race recently became more interesting, as Sharen Neuhardt of Yellow Springs was selected to be the running mate of Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald.
“I’m honored and thrilled,” Neuhardt said in an interview last Friday.
Neuhardt has taken a leave of absence from her job in the law firm of Thompson Hine, where she works in the firm’s corporate transactions and securities practice group, to campaign full time.
On Friday, Neuhardt said she sees the economy as the main issue of the race for the governor’s seat. “I think that the issue when voters vote next fall will be, who do you trust to protect the middle class?” she said.
Neuhardt cited Ohio’s standing of forty-sixth in the nation in job growth, with more unemployed in 2014 than in 2013. The Kasich administration has contributed to the financial struggle with its cuts to municipal governments and school budgets, she said.
Neuhardt is a strong proponent of women’s issues, and she plans to challenge the Kasich administration’s record of closing women’s health clinics and cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, where about 100,000 Ohio women receive basic healthcare. “John Kasich and a lot of Republicans say that Ed picked me, basically, because I have ovaries,” Neuhardt said. “Ed FitzGerald picked me because I have a brain. Women in this state have brains, we have memories and we vote. Memo to John Kasich: You’re going to be really sorry that you messed with women come November.”
FitzGerald, an attorney who is a former FBI agent and prosecutor for Cuyahoga County, is the county executive of Cuyahoga County, home of Cleveland. In his position, he is credited with a range of reforms, including community policing and the enforcement of a strict code of ethics.
Before working at Thompson Hine, Neuhardt was the general counsel and vice president of Mead Data Central. The daughter of a Dayton police officer, Neuhardt was the first in her family to attend college. She received a bachelors from Northwestern University and a law degree from Georgetown University.