For those of you who don’t know, I received my political education largely in Ohio. I grew up outside of Columbus, and I actually learned much of my hands-on politicking at the knees of Tony Celebrezze, who was as fine a gentleman as you’ll find in politics.
I also learned a lot of what I know from Ted Strickland, who had been a prison psychologist and ordained minister. In 1992, Strickland ran for Congress for the fourth time; he’d run three times before, and lost each time. But this time, the combination of a young Southern governor and a flawed quasi-incumbent* (Bob McEwen–yes, the same guy who just ran in the Ohio 2nd and lost to Jeanne Schmidt) turned out to be just barely enough for Strickland to claim victory.
Alas, it wasn’t to last. Strickland–as good and decent a man as you’ll find in Congress–drowned in the Republican tsunami of 1994, to a pedestrian hack named Frank Cremeans–a man who made Schmidt look absolutely scintillating–by the slimmest of margins. True story: The Hill, the paper that covers Capitol Hill, when running it’s election special in 1996, did a blurb on the race in the Ohio 6th, which was hotly contested, as it had been the last two previous elections. The headline was, "Do the ends justify Cremeans?". Even his own partisans thought him mediocre, at best.
For two years, Strickland worked and planned his comeback. And on November of 1996, the voters of southeastern Ohio rewarded his toil. And he’s never faced a close election since.
Well, Strickland’s tossed his hat in the gubernatorial ring. It’s been 80 days since he announced, and he’s been campaigning around the state. And last Friday, he announced that, in less than three months, he’s raised over 1 million dollars–$1.074 million, to be exact. And of that amount, he’s got exactly 1 million on hand.
I was proud to support Ted Strickland then, and I’m proud to support him now. We almost put Paul Hackett over the top on Tuesday; can we not put Ted Strickland over the top next November? He may have $1 million dollars now, but I’m certain that he’ll still need your help over the next year. The GOP knows that he’s our best shot at getting back the Governor’s mansion in Ohio; they know that they absolutely need Ohio to stay in their column if their atrocious reign of corruption is to have any kind of duration; and they’ll stop at nothing in order to keep Ohio from our hands.
The time is short, but the cause is just. Help Ted, and in so doing, help us take back Ohio, and take back America. They’ve had it for too damn long already.
*I say McEwen was a quasi-incumbent becaue in the 1990 census, Ohio lost two congressional seats. In the end, the decision was made by the redistricting board to combine, if I recall correctly, the 10th District (which included Lancaster and ran south and east) was represented by Clarence Miller. Miller was supposed to retire, but didn’t. In an nasty primary, McEwen beat Miller by 297 votes to earn the right to run for re-election.