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Published: Sunday, 10/27/2002

Bradley says work on housing qualifies her


COLUMBUS - A month ago, Republican Gov. Bob Taft stood on a formerly polluted site near downtown Columbus and outlined what Jennette Bradley would do as lieutenant governor.

The list includes liaison to local governments, chair of the council that awards funds to clean up polluted lands, liaison to small business, and chief adviser on housing and community development.

In 1981, Ms. Bradley was 28 when she became the youngest executive director of the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Five years later, the federal government put the housing authority on its “operationally troubled” list because it had a vacancy rate of 16 percent.

The move came after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a report - requested by U.S. Sens. John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum, both Democrats - criticizing the housing authority's track record on collecting rent, filling vacancies, and maintaining units.

In a recent interview, Ms. Bradley said the problems overshadowed what she considers her accomplishments as head of the housing authority. She resigned in July, 1986, to take a job with an investment banking firm in Washington.

A Columbus city council member since 1991, she said many of her “ideas and theories” about public housing have proved correct over the past two decades.

She said her work at the housing authority, combined with her private-sector experience and 11 years on city council, qualifies her to serve as lieutenant governor, and governor if Mr. Taft dies or is incapacitated.

She is a senior vice president at Huntington National Bank in Columbus.

“I'm a little older; I'm not 28,” she said, with a laugh. “I don't flinch at the thought of being governor.”

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