(Columbus) — Democratic gubernatorial contender Ed FitzGerald has picked a Cincinnati lawyer and state senator well known to President Barack Obama as his running mate as he seeks to unseat Republican Gov. John Kasich in 2014.
FitzGerald's campaign manager Nick Bius confirmed the pick of Sen. Eric Kearney Wednesday.
Kearney, who is black, lends both racial and geographic diversity to the top of Democrats' 2014 ticket. He is expected to help draw votes from Ohio's heavily Republican southwest region.
FitzGerald is executive of Democrat-dominated Cuyahoga County and is a former FBI agent.
Kearney was elected Senate Minority Leader in 2012. He served on the national finance committee of Obama's 2008 campaign and as a state co-chair.
His wife, Jan-Michele, was a Harvard law school classmate of the president.
Kearney photo courtesy Ohio Senate