Strickland#8217;s visit draws supporters

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cindy and Mike Lewis, of Ironton, waited on the sidewalk at the Ironton City Center Saturday, in the crowd hovering outside the front entrance.

“I heard Hillary was going to be here, that’s what they said on TV,” Cindy Lewis said. “That’s why we came.”

Both Democrats, the Lewis’ came to the Democratic campaign rally and while presidential candidate Hillary Clinton didn’t show, Gov. Ted Strickland did and they were pleased to see their governor campaigning for her.

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Fellow Democrat Bob Blankenship waited on the sidewalk, too. It was good to see the governor visit.

“Now if we can just get him here for the Memorial Day parade…” Blankenship said. As grand marshal for this year’s parade, Blankenship would clearly welcome some gubernatorial company.

It’s not every day southern Ohioans see their governor come to town, even if he is a native southerner himself. When the occasion arose Saturday, more than 200 of them came out to greet him. And Gov. Ted Strickland had a smile and a handshake for every one of them.

Andrea Whitley, of Coal Grove brought her daughter, Cassidy, to see the governor.

“They’re studying Ohio history in school right now,” Andrea Whitley said.

As for Cassidy, she wasn’t sure what to think but she said she would go back and tell her classmates she shook hands with Ted.

Pam Miller had her Hillary sign ready.

“I support her,” Miller said of Sen. Clinton. She said she was glad her governor supported Hillary, too.

Miller had shown up at the city center at 12:30, and waited more than three hours to see Strickland. The rally was first set for 1 p.m. but was later changed to 2 p.m. and finally 4 p.m.

Inside, Adriana Poplin held hands with her boyfriend, Josh Moore while they waited for Strickland’s arrival. In the hands that weren’t laced together, there were Hillary signs. It was family ties that brought Poplin and Moore to the city center.

“They’re big Democrats and they like Ted,” Poplin explained. “My grandpa (David McCown) was his campaign manager.”

Poplin and Moore may have had their campaign signs ready but when it comes to voting, well, that may have to wait — at least for now. In spite of their enthusiasm, they have a bit of a problem: Poplin is 16, Moore is 15, a touch under the age limit. Perhaps Hillary and Ted will be around in four more years.