“This is home,” U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland, a Scioto County native, said as he walked from his car to the building on the Scioto County Fairgrounds, where his birthday party was held on Saturday. “I was looking over there where the Methodist booth is, and I was thinking of standing back there washing dishes during the fair when I was a lot younger than I am now.”
Strickland is, to say the least, a hometown “boy” and always enjoys coming back to the county that sent him to Congress and to the statehouse in Columbus.
“I’m glad to be here,” Strickland said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with this election. But the important thing are the relationships you have, the people you care about.”
Strickland, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Senator Rob Portman, made a couple of stops on the way to the party.
“I just stopped at Bristol Village (Waverly) to visit my sister Helen,” Strickland said. “I think the older you get the more you recognize the importance of relationships, and that’s kind of where I am at this time in my life and I’m just trying to enjoy life and care about the people that I love.”
Being the month of September, the campaign for the Senate is in the home stretch and no one knows that more than Strickland.
“Sixty days,” Strickland said.
He went on to say a campaign staffer, Taylor Myers has driven him 59,000 miles, which is over two times around the circumference of the earth.
Another person who has been on the campaign trail is Strickland’s wife, Frances who talked about the spirit of people from Scioto County when it comes to sticking it out in a political campaign.
“We come from stock where you just keep going. You keep moving forward, that’s the way to do this,” Frances Strickland said. “I grew up in Kentucky, so it’s kind of spilled over the border too.”
Another familiar face at the party was former Scioto County Commissioner Tom Reiser.
“It’s good for the whole area, good for the community, I hope it’s good for Ted,” Reiser said.
Scioto County Democratic Party Chairman Randy Basham is looking for an all Democratic Ohio delegation in Washington.
“If you look back at the history of the state, we had two of the best Senators ever was – (Howard) Metzenbaum and (John) Glenn, and we’ve got to overturn that,” Basham said. ‘And now, once we add Ted, we’re going to have another Metzenbaum and Glenn with (current Democratic Senator) Sherrod Brown and Ted Strickland.”
Food was served, Steve Free performed, and Strickland made the rounds. But at the end of the day, the challenge is, 60 more days to campaign for the U.S. Senate.
“All hands on deck, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” Frances Strickland said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.