Wednesday, April 29, 2015

John Kasich's man in New Hampshire: A Q&A with presidential booster John E. Sununu

If Ohio Gov. John Kasich follows through on his interest in running for president, New Hampshire might hold the key to his fortunes.

Observers believe that the Republican's unorthodox candor and style could win over independent-minded voters in the nation's first primary state. Kasich has signaled that he plans to make a big play there. He has visited twice since March.

And among the directors of New Day for America, his new national fundraising committee, is John E. Sununu. The former U.S. senator, who served with Kasich in Congress, hails from one of New Hampshire's most prominent political families.

Sununu spoke by telephone this week with the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ed FitzGerald, the return

Reported and written with Andrew J. Tobias

Ed FitzGerald, the former Cuyahoga County executive and failed gubernatorial candidate, has re-emerged after months away from the public eye to pitch Cleveland leaders on a downtown festival that would be run through a nonprofit.

On Tuesday, in his first interview since leaving office Jan. 1, FitzGerald told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that the concept is still in its organizational stages. But he envisions an annual event that mixes art, live music and food. He hopes to time the launch for August 2016, the month after the four-day Republican National Convention that he helped lure to Cleveland while serving as county executive.

A large festival, FitzGerald said, would help capitalize on the RNC, as well as the recent investments civic leaders have made downtown in recent years.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ben Carson makes case for politically incorrect president in speech to Cuyahoga County GOP

On a weekend when nearly 20 Republican presidential prospects were camped out in New Hampshire, Ben Carson camped out in Cleveland.

"The weather's nicer here," Carson said lightly after delivering the keynote speech Saturday evening at the Cuyahoga County GOP's Lincoln Day dinner.

The retired brain surgeon's speech to about 600 party faithful at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel came exactly 15 months before the Republican National Convention kicks off a few blocks away at Quicken Loans Arena. Carson is exploring a White House bid and will announce next month whether he intends to compete for the nomination that will officially be awarded here in July 2016.

Carson, who rose from poverty in Detroit to the head of the pediatric neurosurgery department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, emphasized his rags-to-riches biography. He talked of a similar journey for the country, calling for can-do Americans and for leaders who will scale back federal regulations on business.

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