Two Lucas County commissioners joined the Obama campaign pitch Thursday -- attributing some of the local gains in jobs to the President's economic policies.
The unemployment rate for Lucas County dipped to 7.8 percent in May, the first time the county's jobless rate has been below 8 percent in four years, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Commissioners Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon Wozniak, both Democrats, said it was welcome news, but the rate was not low enough.
The county rate was 8.2 percent in April and 9.4 percent a year earlier. The last time the county rate was below 8 percent was in June, 2008, when it was 7.8 percent.
The news conference, at Clay High School in Oregon near the wind turbine, was part of the Obama campaign's "Made in Ohio" Energy Tour.
"They are allowing people to go back to work," Mr. Gerken said of the President's actions. "We know that wind and solar have been prime movers of the economy and have been steady here in the past. … "
Mr. Gerken said the Obama Administration's spending in the auto and manufacturing industries and his "All-of-the-Above" energy strategy have played a role in Lucas County's economic recovery.
Ms. Wozniak said northwest Ohio has been a leader in wind energy.
Jon Stainbrook, chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, said the policies of Republican Gov. John Kasich have contributed to job creation in the county and employment growth overall in the state. "This is just ridiculous that [Mr. Gerken and Ms. Wozniak] are giving Barack Obama credit for this. All they are doing is looking for a press opportunity," he said.