Politics Democratic Senate candidate Ted Strickland visits Athens By Samantha Read Posted on September 28, 2015 6 min read 0 0 504 Photo by Austin Linfante Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland visited Ohio University at The Pigskin on Wednesday. Strickland, who is currently running for the United States Senate in 2016, used the event to briefly discuss his goals and interact with voters. Lou Gentile, state senator for the 30th District of the Ohio Senate, was the first to speak at the event. Gentile believes 2016 will see a high voter turnout in Southeast Ohio. “We are really excited about this campaign, and I can feel the energy,” Gentile said. “I think it’s going to be a huge difference in terms of the turnout in Southeast Ohio having Ted Strickland on the ticket. I’m excited to have the opportunity to run with him in 2016.” Strickland was introduced by Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany. Phillips has confidence about the upcoming election as well. “It’s really an interesting time here in Ohio. We have come through a really tough election cycle, and people were feeling somewhat disheartened after that,” Phillips said. “But the energy is really building right now, and I think part of it is because we can see there are people who are not representing the best interests of the people in the state of Ohio.” Lydia Phillips, a student at Ohio University, respected Strickland for coming to Ohio University. “I was impressed that Ted Strickland took the time to come to Athens to talk to the crowd personally and speak about some of his goals when running for Ohio Senate in 2016,” she said. Athens County has saved Ted Strickland more than once. In the 1992 election, Strickland was behind until the votes in Athens County were counted, giving him a win. This allowed him to be in the U.S. House of Representatives, later giving him the opportunity to become governor in 2006 and now run for U.S. Senate. Strickland pointed out why he believes current U.S. Sen. Rob Portman should not be re-elected. “[Portman] signed the letter to the ayatollah in the midst of negotiation with Iran; he has voted to defund Planned Parenthood,” Strickland said. “He has said Obamacare needs to be repealed and those are not in my judgment moderate decisions.” Strickland said he wants to give middle class people an opportunity at a good life. “I’m running for this office because I really believe that just regular people need representation,” Strickland said. “Every person, regardless of where they live, deserves to have a decent place to live, send their kid into good schools and give them a good start in life, to be able to send their kids into college without being burdened with a lifetime of debt. Seventy percent of all graduating college students in Ohio, 70 percent, leave college with an average debt of $30,000.” Strickland believes Ohioans need to recognize international, economic and social issues; he believes climate change is a real threat and that women’s rights need to be protected. According to Strickland, one out of five women in Ohio have gone to a Planned Parenthood facility for services and another 20 percent have friends or family who have received services. “Ted remembers where he came from; he remembers all of us and knows what our struggles are and we need him in the United States Senate,” Phillips said.