Ted Strickland (born August 4, 1941) was the 68th Governor of Ohio, serving from 2007 to 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served in the United States House of Representatives, representing Ohio's 6th congressional district (1993-1995, 1997-2007). In the 2006 gubernatorial election, Strickland was elected to succeed term-limited Republican incumbent Bob Taft after defeating Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, receiving 60% of the vote. However, he was narrowly defeated for re-election in the 2010 gubernatorial election by former U.S. Representative John Kasich. Strickland serves as a co-chair of the Health Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Born in Lucasville, Ohio, Strickland was one of nine children; his father was a steelworker.
A 1959 graduate of Northwest High School, Strickland went on to be the first member of his family to attend college Strickland was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in psychology from Asbury College in 1963. In 1966, he received a Master of Arts degree in guidance counseling from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Divinity from the Asbury Theological Seminary in 1967. He then returned to the University of Kentucky to earn his Ph.D in counseling psychology in 1980. He is married to Frances Strickland, an educational psychologist and author of a widely used screening test for kindergarten-age children. Strickland worked as a counseling psychologist at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio He was an administrator at a Methodist children's home and was a professor of psychology at Shawnee State University. His only known pastoral position within a church was a very brief associate pastoral position at Wesley United Methodist Church located at the corner of Offnere and Gallia Streets, Portsmouth, Ohio (now Cornerstone United Methodist Church).
Ted 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. In 1994, the Republican wave swamped Strickland, who narrowly lost his seat to Republican Frank Cremeans. In 1996, however, Strickland narrowly won his seat back, taking office in January 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 reelected three more times, and even ran unopposed in 2004. Strickland served on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Veterans' Affairs Committee.
Governor of Ohio
Ted Strickland successfully ran for Governor of Ohio in 2006, when Governor Bob Taft 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. He easily won the Democratic primary on May 2, 2006, winning 80 percent of the vote. Under Strickland the state won the Governor's Cup award from Site Selection Magazine, based on top states for economic development, for his first three years in office.
By 2010, the state's business climate had improved from #38 in the nation and #7 in the Midwest when Strickland was elected to #11 in the nation and number 1 in the Midwest according to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. In 2008, he signed the state's renewable portfolio standard, calling for 25% of the state's energy to be produced by renewables by 2025. By 2010, the state was ranked #2 in solar production and continued to be a top-five state for "green energy" production. Strickland sought reelection as governor in 2010. On January 19, 2010, he chose Yvette McGee Brown, a former juvenile court judge from central Ohio, as his running mate, running against John Kasich's running mate Ohio State Auditor Mary Taylor. The rally drew thousands of attendees, and parts of President Obama's speech were featured on MSNBC. The awaited results from Cuyahoga County for the gubernatorial election decided the winner of the governorship on November 2, 2010; Strickland was defeated by Republican John Kasich, and thus Yvette McGee Brown also lost that night, to Mary Taylor.
In 2011, after Strickland's immediate successor to office and former opponent, John Kasich, signed into law Senate Bill 5, Former Governor Strickland took a leading role in gathering the signatures necessary under Ohio law to repeal Senate Bill 5 via public referendum. The signatures, amounting to 2,298,301 names, was delivered to the Kasich Administration on June 29th, 2011, far exceeding the required amount of signatures to put the law on the ballot. The signatures were also turned in one day before the ninety day deadline (According to Ohio law, the citizens of Ohio have ninety days after a bill becomes law to gather enough signatures to put the law on a ballot for a public vote). Senate Bill 5 will be on the ballot for Ohioans to vote yes or no to on November 8th, 2011. The law will not go into effect unless a majority of Ohioans vote yes on the measure.