Strickland tabs economy, prescription drugs top priorities

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 25, 2002

Ted Strickland has seen Ohio go through both highs and lows during his eight years as Sixth District Representative and he hopes for the chance to continue working for the people of the state.

"I am always appreciative of the fact that people in Southern Ohio have

stood with me in good times and bad," he said. "I have great concern for the direction the country is going in. I think these are serious times."

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Improving the overall economy is his highest priority. This requires focusing on many issues including providing job opportunities and a sense of security for health care and retirement, stabilizing social security, making prescription drugs affordable and allowing every child the opportunity to attend college, he said.

"By far, the economy is what most people are concerned about," he said. "We need to change our wrong-headed trade policies that send good-paying American jobs overseas."

With more wars potentially on the horizon, making sure America's veterans are provided for is a cause he says he will continue to champion.

Recently, he met a 93-year old veteran of World War II who was wounded in seven places and awarded the purple heart and bronze star. Yet this man still struggles to receive the health care and support that is necessary.

"There is no stronger advocate for veterans' benefits in the House than I am," he said. "At the same time we are talking about patriotism, we are cutting benefits. It angers me that all the verbiage does not match the reality."

Strickland said he will also fight to have a prescription drug plan for seniors incorporated into Medicare and Social Security and will fight the privatization of these programs.

"Prescription drugs for senior citizens is an issue that does not just affect seniors," he said "It affects families."

If he could speak directly to the voters of Lawrence County he said he would tell them that he genuinely cares about them.

"I have worked hard to be available to them, to listen to them and tried every way I know to make sure they get good representation in Washington and Ohio."

Strickland said he has many plans to move the 6th District, and especially Lawrence County, forward into the 21st Century.

Local projects he will continue to support include funding for Empowerment Zones, developing the Point industrial park, providing basic infrastructure improvements and to just work hard and be accessible, he said.

During his last two terms in Congress, Strickland helped author the Patients' Bill of Rights, a bill pushing for reform in the health care industry, promoted the construction of the Chesapeake Bypass and co-authored the Children's Health Insurance Program, among others.

He wants county residents to know he was unable to be at the Meet the Candidates at Ohio University Southern because he had to be in Washington for a vote.

"In my eight years in office I have never missed a vote to be somewhere else for political reasons," he said. "My first obligation is to be on the job."

Strickland, a Lucasville native, is the son of a steelworker, and one of nine children. He attended

Asbury College in Kentucky and received a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of Kentucky.