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Dem FitzGerald readies 2014 run for Ohio governor

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A top Democratic government official in northeastern Ohio says he's forming an exploratory committee to consider a bid for governor in 2014.

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Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald delivers the State of the County speech at The City Club of Cleveland Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Cleveland. FitzGerald is considering a 2014 challenge for governor to Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said Monday that he's concerned about the direction the state is headed under Republican Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich ousted former Gov. Ted Strickland in 2010 in one of Ohio's most expensive governor's races. The first-term governor says he plans to run again. He's raised more than $2.7 million over the past two years and has $2.1 million on hand.

FitzGerald, a former FBI agent and Lakewood mayor, was elected in 2010 to lead a new county executive-council government in Ohio's most populous county to replace a scandal-plagued commissioner form.

Monday's move allows FitzGerald to raise money without formally declaring his candidacy.

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