Who is Ted Strickland?
Some of you may know him as the United States Representative for Ohio's Sixth District. Some of you may know him as the frontrunner for Ohio's Democratic nomination in the all-important 2006 gubernatorial race. Some of you may think he has something to do with propane and propane-related accessories. (He doesn't, by the way.)
Our goal is to ensure that everyone knows Ted like his friends, family and constituents know him - a tireless worker for Ohioans, a champion for those who lack the power to speak for themselves; a Golden Rule Democrat who believes that he should treat others as he would like to be treated and who approaches his service as an elected representative accordingly.
A former Methodist minister, psychologist, campus director of a Methodist children's home, college professor and member of Congress, Ted isn't your normal lawyer-turned-politician.
- He voted against the war in Iraq, and remains an outspoken critic of it.
- He's consistently stood up for veterans, being one of the first to lead the charge in the House to secure armor and equipment for our troops. And as a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, has fought the good fight to make health care more available to returning soldiers and by challenging our nation to keep its promises to those who served in uniform.
- He's voted against every pay raise in Congress since he was elected.
- He's paid for his own health insurance since elected, and vows to do so until everyone in his district has health care.
- He was a leader in the House in creating the Children's Health Insurance Program, the initiative that now provides coverage to millions of children of working parents across our nation.
With Ted's strong progressive record, it might be surprising to learn that he represents a district that voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. It's Ted's crossover appeal to Republican voters that makes him such a formidable candidate. Ted is a Democrat who fought against CAFTA and NAFTA, who voted against and criticized the Iraq War, who supports choice, organized labor, and fiscal responsibility through opposition to the Bush tax cuts and protecting Social Security, and still wins big in Republican areas of the state. Democrats can win in 2006 by unifying Ohioans around a vision for the future, and Ted has a long and successful history of doing just that.
It's not just what Ted has done that makes him a great candidate for the governor's seat - it's what he wants to do. A tireless fighter for Ohio's workers, Ted is committed to making Ohio an economic engine: the goal of Ohio must not be to keep pace with the rest of the nation, but to lead it. That means promoting research and innovation in areas such as energy and technology, making Ohio's universities top-flight and affordable, and making Ohio's school system, declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, law-abiding and capable of delivering a basic, equal education to all Ohio children. This is a state riddled with corruption...but it's also a state with so much potential and hope.
This is an open letter to the blogosphere, both an introduction and a call to action. Over the next year, we're going to be fighting a difficult and important battle. We ask for your input and insight, your passion and energy. When he was a child, Ted's house burned down, and he, his parents, and his eight siblings lived in a chicken shack until they could turn their barn into a permanent home. As Ted says: "If you learn anything from living in a chicken shack, it's that things can get better." We're at the beginning of a campaign focusing on a single goal - restoring Ohio to greatness. Things can get better.