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Name: Strickland, Ted
Current Position: Co-Chair

A moderate Democrat and first-term governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland has served as the states’ co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission since January.

Born on August 4, 1941, in Lucasville, Ohio, Strickland was one of nine children. His father was a steelworker in McDermott, where Strickland graduated from Northwest High School in 1959. He went on to become the first member of his family to attend college, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history from Asbury College in Kentucky in 1963. He then pursued two master’s degrees, receiving an MA in guidance counseling from the University of Kentucky (1966), and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary (1967). He completed his schooling in 1980 with a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Kentucky.
Strickland’s professional career began as a counseling psychologist at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. He later worked as an administrator at a Methodist children’s home, before becoming an assistant professor of psychology at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Strickland’s interest in running for office first arose in the 1970s. He ran three times for Ohio’s 6th congressional district and lost each time (1976, 1978, and 1980). After losing to Republican Bob McEwen in 1980, he waited a dozen years before going after the incumbent in 1992. By then McEwen’s popularity had waned, in part because of his involvement in the House banking scandal. Even with Patrick Buchanan, Vice President Dan Quayle, and Oliver North campaigning for him, McEwen narrowly lost the election to Strickland.
Strickland’s tenure in Congress was interrupted in 1994 when the Republican wave took Strickland out and gave the seat to Frank Cremeans. But Strickland came back in 1996 and narrowly defeated Cremeans. GOP Lieutenant Governor Nancy Hollister challenged Strickland in 1998, but he won reelection that time. From that point on he had little trouble holding his congressional seat, and was reelected three more times.
Strickland declined to run again in 2006 in order to pursue the governorship of Ohio. He easily defeated GOP nominee Ken Blackwell, then Ohio’s secretary of state. As a congressman and governor he has crafted a moderate political profile. While earning a ringing endorsement from the National Rifle Association for his stance on gun control, and voting to ban partial-birth abortions, Strickland has opposed funding for school vouchers and abstinence-only sex education programs.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Strickland was an avowed supporter of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
He is married to Frances Strickland, an educational psychologist and author of a widely used screening test for kindergarten-age children.
About Ted Strickland (Gubernatorial Biography)
Ted Strickland Rules Himself Out as an Obama Veep Pick (by Don Frederick, Los Angeles Times)
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