Canton Repository

January 19, 2005

U.S. Rep. Strickland won’t run for governor

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON — Rep. Ted Strickland, D-Lisbon, will not run for Ohio governor next year, the congressman announced Tuesday.

Instead, the fifth-term lawmaker said he will remain in Washington to “fight for the heart and soul of our country.”

Strickland, 63, had been mulling a run for governor for a year, and some Democrats considered him a likely candidate. Republican Gov. Bob Taft must step down after 2006 because of term limits.

In a telephone interview from Wheeling, W.Va., Strickland said he “never could really answer for myself whether I would be happy with being governor. There was just not the burning desire.”

Strickland also said it was important for him to continue opposing President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress in Washington.

“We are at a national crossroads, and if there is no resistance, an emboldened, right-wing leadership will take our nation to a point of no return for the people and issues that I care about,” he said.

Strickland criticized the administration and Congress for the war in Iraq, which he opposes, as well as plans to make changes in Social Security and “blind adherence to failed free trade policies.”

Strickland’s congressional district runs along the Ohio River for 259 miles from Youngstown, to near Stark County, to Portsmouth.

Strickland has compiled a moderate to liberal voting record, including opposition to gun control. He was unopposed in last year’s election.

Strickland said he believes he would have won if he ran for governor.

Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain, is among several Democrats considering the gubernatorial race. Strickland pledged to endorse Brown if he enters the fray. Otherwise, he said he probably would avoid getting involved in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Other Democrats mentioned as possible candidates are Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, former Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher and TV personality Jerry Springer.