As the Strickland senatorial campaign announces it raised nearly $3.8 million in 2015 including over $1.05 million in the fourth quarter of that year, Scioto County native and former Ohio governor Ted Strickland, remembers his early years in politics.
“I remember a fundraiser I had in Lawrence County. It was just an attempt to ge people together. We were charging $5 for just hot dogs and Cokes and potato chips,” Strickland told the Daily Times in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “A man came to me before that event and told me about a little lady that wanted him to ask me if she could come on credit until she got her Social Security check.”
While that was a long time ago, it has stayed in his mind.
“But I haven’t forgotten those things,” Strickland said. “It’s just the way some people have to stretch what they have.”
According to Strickland for Senate campaign manager Rebecca Pearcey, the campaign has over $2 million cash-on-hand. In a further sign of the campaign’s strong grassroots support, Strickland received nearly 29,000 individual contributions in 2015.
“I haven’t gotten fully engaged like I want to,” Strickland said. “I’ve been talking about things that I think are important to me. The message that I have been talking about is that I think the middle class is feeling squeezed. Wages have remained flat for a long time. People have worked hard. Welfare has been created, but for the last 10 years the incomes have increased only for the top 10 percent of the wage-earners and a lot of people are feeling like no matter how hard they work they just can’t get ahead. While wages are stagnant or flat, costs continue to go up and so I think people are just feeling like the cards are stacked against them.
The campaign will file its fundraising report electronically with the Federal Election Commission, continuing to highlight what the campaign says is Strickland’s call for increased transparency in campaign finance.
In October of 2015, Strickland announced his support for the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act, which he says would require electronic filing for Senate campaigns — increasing disclosure, saving money and stopping the archaic, wasteful practice of spending U.S. tax dollars on foreign workers in places like India to enter campaign finance data.
“Former Governor Ted Strickland is running to fight for working people because that’s where he comes from and that’s who he always puts first — and the strong, grassroots support we’re receiving is another clear sign that Ted’s message is resonating with Ohioans,” Strickland for Senate campaign manager Rebecca Pearcey said. “Ted’s campaign is continuing to gain great momentum: we’ve traveled over 25,000 miles across the state, held hundreds of events with supporters, and earned endorsements from leaders like President Bill Clinton and organizations ranging from the United Auto Workers to the Ohio College Democrats. Ohioans are backing former Governor Strickland because he’ll always put working families first in the U.S. Senate, and they’re fed up with D.C. insiders like Senator Portman who push the interests of the Washington establishment and the wealthy special interests they serve while the middle class pays the price.”
Pearcey said Strickland is leading incumbent Portman in every recent poll of the race.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.