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NRA aims its support at Governor Strickland

PROCTORVILLE  — Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland visited Lawrence County Monday to talk about the Second Amendment and kiss some babies, but he brought along the support of the National Rifle Association of America.

Strickland spoke to a crowd of about 50 supporters outside Todd’s Sporting Goods, accepting the endorsement of the NRA.

“We will be urging every gun owner and hunter in Ohio to vote Ted Strickland for governor on Nov. 2,” said NRA Political Victory Fund Chairman Chris Cox in a press release.

“This endorsement, I think, is a result of the long history I have had as a congressman and as a governor in support of Second Amendment rights,” Strickland said. “That’s why the NRA has given me a rating of A+ and that’s why they have chosen to give me their endorsement. I am so pleased to receive it.”

Strickland spoke of the times he enjoyed hunting and outdoor activities as a young person and how important he feels it is for young people today.

“I’m convinced that if we got our young people outdoors, away from computers, and into nature, that we would have fewer behavioral problems,” Strickland said.

Strickland said another reason he feels strongly about gun rights is for Ohio’s economy, promoting hunting and camping.

“We are working through our department of natural resources to try to spread the word about what Ohio has to offer,” Strickland said. “These are tough economic times. We’re trying to convey to the people of Ohio that they can have a vacation in Ohio that will cost you less money and you can enjoy yourselves in one of our great state parks or camping areas, and it will be good for you, your families and your kids.”

Strickland said he chose Proctorville as his stop to announce his acceptance of the NRA’s endorsement because it is a community that can appreciate it.

“Proctorville is a part of my old congressional district. I’ve got friends here and I know people here in this part of the state, in Proctorville and Ironton and other communities,” Strickland said.

“They really appreciate the outdoors, hunting and fishing, and they really appreciate the Second Amendment, which guarantees their rights as American citizens to have, own, and use firearms. That’s why I came here.

“The NRA endorsement means a lot,” he said. “I think people in this area, in this part of Ohio, understand that the NRA is very careful in the people they choose to endorse. They endorsed me because I have a good record on protecting the Second Amendment and my opponent has a bad record.”

Strickland’s opponent in the governor’s race is Republican John Kasich.

“I think with what he’s had to work with, he’s done remarkable,” Karen Bailey, 49, of Kitts Hill, said of Strickland. “He’s true to his word and I’m confident that he will be for the next four years.” Bailey said she has been a supporter of Strickland since 2002.

Barbara Ward, 49, of Proctorville, said she supports Strickland and feels he has done a fantastic job for schools.

“He’s a down-home country person, just like we are,” Ward said. “He knows what it is like and what we face. He fights every day for the common person.”

For Todd Gillispie, owner of Todd’s Sporting Goods, it is not about the party, but the issue.

“I’m not big into politics,” Gillispie said. “It’s not a Democrat or Republican thing; it’s about gun rights.”