Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has launched 'Take Two' of his campaign for Governor.

He's picked a Dayton-area woman lawyer, Sharen Swartz Neuhardt, to be his Lieutenant Governor choice..

He went back to the drawing board over the holidays to find a new running mate.

His first sidekick, state Senator Eric Kearney, was erased from the ticket because of the hue and cry and understandable concerns over his company's and his unpaid taxes.

That left the media and voters wondering if FitzGerald knew about the issues and underestimated them or if the vetting process was negligent. Neither choice inspired confidence.

In any case, the FitzGerald team had lots of time over the holidays to scour the state for a new partner.

Neuhardt's identity was top secret until the announcement. Unlike Kearney, her name was never on the radar.

Sharen Neuhardt's been on the ballot before. She ran for Congress two times and lost. She lost to Steve Austria in 2008 and was beaten by Mike Turner in 2012.

She brings needed gender and geographic diversity to FitzGerald's campaign. Southwest Ohio is very important in this race.

She's a strong supporter of reproductive freedom and abortion rights, which will be front and center as an issue .

She is a lawyer who focuses on corporate law and has been a board member of the Greater Miami Valley chapter of Planned Parenthood. She campaigned against tighter abortion limits that Governor John Kasich signed into law.

Republicans call her FitzGerald's "third-string back-up choice" and will continue to paint FitzGerald as not ready-for-prime-time. And then they returned to the Kearney chapter.

FitzGerald's campaign is getting back into the headlines after a long lull.

On Thursday, he won a resounding endorsement from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and a host of local officials. That may help address concerns about FitzGerald's standing in the minority community.

Now the focus will also be on fundraising.

An important finance report filing deadline at the end of the month will give a better idea of how strong a campaign he and Neuhardt can run as the back-up plan kicks in.

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