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Ted Strickland

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Ted Strickland
Candidate for
U.S. Senate, Ohio
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Governor of Ohio
January 8, 2007 – January 9, 2011
U.S. House of Representatives
1993-1995, 1995-2007
High schoolNorthwest High School (1959)
Bachelor'sAsbury College (1963)
Master'sAsbury Theological Seminary (1967)
Date of birthAugust 4, 1941
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Ted Strickland (born August 4, 1941) is a Democratic politician and a former Governor of Ohio. Strickland is a 2016 candidate seeking election to the U.S. Senate from Ohio.[1]

Before his election as Governor in 2006, he served six terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio’s 6th District.

In September 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Strickland to be one of five alternate representatives to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations.[2]

Strickland ran for re-election as Governor of Ohio in the 2010 election. He lost to Republican John Kasich.


Strickland was born in Lucasville, Ohio and graduated from Northwest High School in 1959. He proceeded to earn degrees from Asbury College, University of Kentucky and Asbury Theological Seminary. Strickland was the first member of his family to attend college.

Strickland's professional career included stints as a counseling psychologist at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, a children's home administrator and a psychology professor at Shawnee State University. Strickland was also an associate pastor with Wesley United Methodist Church.[3]


Governor of Ohio (2007-2011)

Strickland was elected the 68th Governor of Ohio in November 2006 and was sworn into office on January 8, 2007.

After drawing criticism for running a "close to the vest" campaign with few specific details about how he would change Ohio as governor, Strickland became more outspoken upon taking office. He made education a centerpiece of his goals as governor, hoping to come up with ways to get more Ohioans to afford state-controlled college, graduate from in-state public universities, and thus stay in-state for quality jobs. Although his congressional record gave reason for many critics to claim during the campaign he may not be averse to raising taxes, he made some efforts to investigate state government spending and proposed only minimal tax increases in his "State of the State" address in March 2007.[4][5] He emphasized a goal to override the market and freeze or minimally increase tuition in the years following his initial election, with minimal tax increases across the board. He appointed Eric Fingerhut as a state chancellor of higher education. He also wanted to shift funding away from Ohio's private universities towards public universities.[6] While the Republican-led legislature, led by State House Speaker Jon Husted, agreed with the need to emphasize education, they disagreed on how to keep costs down without raising taxes.[7] Nevertheless, Strickland overcame nearly all of these disagreements with the legislature to pass a unanimous budget of $52 billion over the two fiscal years beginning July 2007 with line-item vetoes; this unanimous approval of the budget was the state's first in 84 years.[8]

Approval ratings

Strickland's success with bringing the legislature together with his budget and the state's overall desire for change after the Taft years resulted in some of the highest approval and lowest disapproval ratings in Ohio gubernatorial history: 61 percent approval, 15 percent disapproval, including 54/19 splits from Republicans (July 2007).[9]

Strickland's approval ratings also dropped due to the state's economy. However, he still enjoyed an overall approval rating of 54 percent and a disapproval of 39 percent.[10] Additionally, in spite of the state's economic woes, the state unemployment rate has actually increased less than the national average--as of February 2008, the state unemployment rate was 5.3 percent compared to a national rate of 4.8 percent, and in March, the numbers were 5.7 percent and 5.1 percent, compared to gaps of over 1 percent early in Strickland's administration and during much of Taft's administration.[11]


  • Education

On the pre-collegiate level of education, Strickland pushed to cut funding of school vouchers, which critics claimed would reduce education choice available to the public. He opposed federally subsidized abstinence-only sex education programs. In addition to shoring up the state's education bureaucracy, one of Strickland's primary economic plans was working to help bring jobs in the coal and energy industries to Ohio by emphasizing ethanol production and other non-petroleum based energy sources.[12]

  • Health care

Strickland also emphasized health care. In addition, on the issue of capital punishment, Strickland delayed three executions until further review.[13] Strickland refused to block three additional executions, including two that eventually occurred.[14] The March 20, 2007, execution of Kenneth Biros, which Strickland refused to stop, was later stayed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.[15]

  • Abortion

Strickland voted against partial-birth abortion while in the U.S. House, but said he would veto a near-total abortion ban proposed by Ohio State House member Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati) that did not include rape, incest or health exceptions.[16]


Arguably the biggest setback to occur during his short career as Governor was the loss of a computer backup tape that contained the names and Social Security numbers of 64,000 state employees and their families, and 225,000 other state taxpayers. Especially troubling was that a 22-year-old intern was entrusted to this tape and it was stolen out of his unlocked car; however, the administration has insisted that because of the technical nature of the coding it has not been accessed.[17]

Marc Dann, the Strickland administration's Attorney General, became involved in a sexual harassment scandal which implicated many top aides who were forced to resign or were fired, and which led the married father Dann in May 2008 to admit he had a sexual relationship with a subordinate in his office. In response to this admission, Strickland and other leading Ohio Democrats briskly demanded Dann's resignation. Dann resigned his position May 14, 2008, while facing possible impeachment. Governor Strickland appointed Nancy H. Rogers, Dean of the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University as the interim attorney general.[18]

Vice presidential speculation

Strickland drew attention as a potential vice presidential candidate in 2008 due to his popularity in a key state in the Electoral College and his conservative bona fides.[19][20] Strickland noted on multiple occasions that he would not run on the ticket if offered a spot.[21]

U.S. House

Strickland served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Ohio's 6th Congressional District. He was first elected in 1992. In 1994, the Republican wave swamped Strickland, who narrowly lost his seat to Republican Frank Cremeans. However, in 1996, Strickland won his seat back, again narrowly, taking office in 1997 (the 105th Congress). He faced a strong challenge from Lieutenant Governor Nancy Hollister in 1998, but turned it back fairly easily. He wasn't seriously challenged again after this and was re-elected three more times, and even ran unopposed in 2004. Strickland served on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Veterans' Affairs Committee.



See also: United States Senate election in Ohio, 2016

Strickland is running in the 2016 election for the U.S. Senate, to represent Ohio. The general election will take place November 8, 2016.

In a December 2014 interview with the Northeast Ohio Media Group, Strickland discussed a potential run for U.S. Senate against Sen. Rob Portman (R) in 2016. When asked whether or not he was considering a run, Strickland responded, "I am. Have I made any kind of decision as to whether or not I will do that? I have not. I'm talking to some folks and friends and all that, but that's where I'm at."[22]

In late January, The Youngstown Vindicator reported that Strickland had decided to enter the race.[23][24] Meredith Tucker, the state Democratic Party's communications director, responded to the reports, saying, "Gov. Strickland has publicly said he's considering running, and that process is still ongoing."[25] Strickland further clarified, "I am really seriously considering it and I’m engaged in a job that I would need to leave obviously before I would say anything specifically but I am thinking about it very, very seriously and I’ll obviously have to make a firm decision certainly within the month of February."[26]

Strickland officially announced his candidacy on February 25, 2015. He stated, "I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because I am determined to restore the American Dream for working people in this country."[1]


  • Bill Clinton - "Ted Strickland offers a unique blend of qualities we need more of in Washington today: a proven record of service to hard working Ohioans, energy, determination and idealism. He knows how to reach across the aisle to find common ground and when Ohioans need him to stand his ground. No one will care more, know more, and work harder for better opportunities for every Ohioan than Ted. I’m proud to support him."[27]


See also: Ohio gubernatorial election, 2014

Strickland, who served one term as governor (2006-2010) was rumored to be considering a comeback bid in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Incumbent Gov. John Kasich unseated Strickland in the previous election cycle and Strickland temporarily explored the possibility of a rematch. Then, on January 8, 2013, Strickland announced that he would not run for his former office in 2014.[28][29]


See also: Ohio gubernatorial election, 2010

On January 20, 2010, Governor Strickland officially announced his re-election bid in Ohio's 2010 gubernatorial election, although his intentions were already widely assumed after Republican John Kasich's June entry in the race.[30]

Strickland lost his bid for re-election in 2010 to Republican John Kasich.

Governor/Lt. Governor of Ohio, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kasich/Mary Taylor 49% 1,889,186
     Democratic Ted Strickland/Yvette McGee Brown Incumbent 47% 1,812,059
     Libertarian Ken Matesz/Margaret Ann Leech 2.4% 92,116
     Green Dennis Spisak/Anita Rios 1.5% 58,475
     Write-In David Sargent 0% 633
Total Votes 3,852,469
Election Results via Ohio Secretary of State


Strickland successfully ran for Governor of Ohio in 2006, when the then-governor, Robert A. Taft II, was term-limited and could not run for re-election. Strickland selected former Ohio Attorney General and 1998 Democratic nominee for governor Lee Fisher as his running mate. He was sworn in as governor on January 8, 2007.[31]

Governor of Ohio, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTed Strickland 60.5% 2,435,505
     Republican J. Kenneth Blackwell 36.6% 1,474,331
     Non-Partisan William S. Peirce 1.8% 71,437
     Non-Partisan Robert Fitrakis 1% 40,967
     Write-In James Lundeen 0% 579
     Write-In Larry Bays 0% 73
Total Votes 4,022,892
Election Results via Ohio Secretary of State


Strickland easily won the Democratic primary on May 2, 2006, winning 80 percent of the vote. In the November general election, he was challenged by Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Libertarian economist Bill Peirce and the Green Party's Bob Fitrakis, but won handily on November 7, 2006, capturing 60 percent of the vote. Blackwell finished in a distant second with 37 percent of the vote.[32]

Major endorsements (general election)

  • Associated General Contractors of Ohio
  • Fraternal Order of Police[33]
  • National Association of Police Organizations
  • Cleveland Stonewall Democrats
  • Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association
  • Ohio Trooper Coalition
  • Ohio Education Association
  • Ohio Federation of Teachers[34]
  • Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters
  • Ohio Legislative Black Caucus
  • National Rifle Association
  • The Akron Beacon Journal
  • The Columbus Dispatch
  • The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
  • Dayton Daily News
  • The Toledo Blade
  • The Canton Repository
  • Cincinnati Mayor Mark L. Mallory
  • Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson
  • Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman
  • Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin
  • Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner
  • Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams

A full listing of endorsements can be found on Strickland's campaign website.[35]

Media strategy

Strickland began his media campaign for the general election in July by purchasing significant airtime on Christian radio stations throughout the state. The ad cites a verse from the Book of Micah calling one "to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God." Strickland says he has held throughout his life. His televised ads began airing in late September.[36]

Republican support

Strickland's candidacy received some support from Republicans, indicated by many of the pollsters covering the race. Additionally, a number of high-profile Republicans publicly announced their support for Strickland at a press conference on September 12, and Strickland's website launched "Republicans For Strickland," which listed over 340 registered Republican endorsers.[37]


Strickland lost his bid for re-election to Congress in 1994, but was able to win back his seat in 1996. He was subsequently re-elected in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004.


Strickland ran again for the 6th District seat in 1992, once again facing Bob McEwen, who had suffered some political damage by being associated with the House banking scandal. The 6th District had been combined with the old 10th District when Ohio lost two seats in Congress following the 1990 census, and now covered a huge area stretching from Lebanon in Warren County to Marietta in Washington County on the opposite side of the state. The district proved a difficult place to campaign, representing half a dozen different media markets and home to no large cities and few unifying influences.

Patrick J. Buchanan, Dan Quayle and Oliver North came to Ohio to campaign for McEwen, but Strickland narrowly won in the general election on November 3, 1992. Strickland received 122,720 votes to McEwen's 119,252, a plurality of only 3,468. Strickland said "I ran against Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, the National Rifle Association and Right-to-Life. They threw everything at me. I'm just so happy I beat back those guys. I think they're so divisive." Strickland began serving in 1993 (103rd Congress).


Strickland ran for U.S. Representative for Ohio's 6th Congressional District in 1976, 1978 and 1980, losing twice to long-time incumbent William H. Harsha, and later to Harsha's successor and campaign manager, Bob McEwen.

Campaign contributions

Strickland outspent his opponent in the 2006 general election contest by a nearly 5-1 margin.

2006 campaign for Governor of Ohio - Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $16,829,572
Total Raised by Gen. Election Opponent $3,247,567
Top 5 Contributors Ohio Democratic Party $1,708,495 (10.15% of Total)
SEIU District 1199 $40,000 (0.24%)
Ohio AFSCME $40,000 (0.24%)
Local 3/SEIU $40,000 (0.24%)
Individuals v. Institutions $12,201,556 (72.5%)
$2,300,630 (13.7%)
In v. Outside State $14,037,801 (83.9%)
$688,273 (16.1%)


Strickland is married to Frances Strickland, an educational psychologist and author of a widely used screening test for kindergarten-age children.

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Columbus Dispatch, "Ted Strickland says swift GOP attacks in Senate race are a 'compliment'," February 25, 2015
  2. WHIO, "Obama appoints former Ohio governor to UN post," September 10, 2013
  3. Center for American Progress, "President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Counselor to the Center for American Progress," accessed January 27, 2015
  4. Tell the Truth Ted, "Welcome to Tell The Truth," April 8, 2007
  5. On The Issues, "2007 Governor's State of the State speeches," accessed January 27, 2015
  6. Toledo Blade, "Students face possible loss of state funds," March 25, 2007
  7. WTOL, "Text of Governor Strickland's State of the State Address," April 25, 2007
  8. The Blade, "Budget plan gets unanimous OK from Ohio House," May 2, 2007
  9. Quinnipiac University, "Economy Could Force Loved Ones To Leave Ohio, Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Government, Global Economy Get Most Blame," July 11, 2007
  10. OpenLeft, "SurveyUSA: OH-Gov's Approval Still Has Not Recovered to Pre-Primary Levels," accessed January 27, 2015
  11. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Home," accessed January 27, 2015
  12. The Daily Standard, "Governor: Ethanol could be a solution," July 25, 2007
  13. Zanesville Times Recorder, "Postponing executions the right thing to do," March 25, 2007
  14. Death Penalty Information Center, "Executions in the United States in 2007," accessed January 27, 2015
  15. State of Ohio Adult Parole Authority, "In Re: Biros, Kenneth," November 9, 2009
  16. The Columbus Dispatch, "Legislator tries again to ban all abortions," July 12, 2007
  17. The Columbus Dispatch, "Bank data on stolen tape," June 17, 2007
  18., "Rogers an 'inspired' choice for AG," May 15, 2008
  19. On The Issue, "Ted Strickland on Gun Control," accessed January 27, 2015
  20. The Washington Post, "The Line on Running Mates," February 1, 2008
  21. CNN, "Obama VP team discusses 20 possible picks," accessed January 27, 2015
  22. Cleveland, "Ted Strickland interview: Will he run for Senate, what's he think of Rob Portman, and how about Mike DeWine and that immigration lawsuit?," accessed December 11, 2014
  23. Youngstown Vindicator, "Sources: Strickland to run for U.S. Senate in 2016," January 30, 2015
  24. Youngstown Vindicator, "Sources: Ex-Gov. Strickland to run for US Senate," January 31, 2015
  25., "Ted Strickland not yet decided on a U.S. Senate run," January 30, 2015
  26. Portsmouth Daily Times, "Strickland considering run for the Senate," January 31, 2015
  27. Roll Call, "Bill Clinton Endorses Strickland in Ohio," March 31, 2015
  28. Roll Call, "Ted Strickland Can Light Up a Room. Now What?," September 5, 2012
  29. Plain Dealer, "Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to pass on rematch with John Kasich," January 8, 2013
  30. The Athens Messenger, "Strickland's running mate is OU graduate and trustee," January 20, 2010
  31. Bipartisan Policy Center, "Ted Strickland," accessed January 27, 2015
  32. Ohio Secretary of State, "2006 Election Results," accessed January 27, 2015
  33., "GOP gets nods from FOP but not for governorship," July 27, 2006
  34. Ohio Federation of Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO, "OFT Expands List of Endorsed Candidates," June 10, 2006
  35. Ted Strickland for Governor, "Endorsements," accessed January 27, 2015
  36. WBUR, "Democratic Party Embraces 'Values' Debate," October 19, 2006
  37. American Policy Roundtable," "'Republicans for Strickland' speak out," September 13, 2006
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Taft II (R)
Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
John Kasich (R)