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Published: Thursday, 12/6/2001

Ford finishes Columbus gig, points to Democratic unity

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - One of Jack Ford's last votes yesterday as a member of the Ohio House was as part of a Democratic caucus united in its opposition to a Republican-backed bill it claimed would hurt Ohioans.

The vote on his last day on the House floor epitomized an evolution he said he has seen minority Democrats go through in recent years. “We went from a caucus on this side that was sometimes splintered on philosophy to, I think, a single voice,” he said.

The Democrats opposed a GOP bill to erase a $1.5 billion deficit.

The Toledo mayor-elect will step down at the end of the year from the job he has held since he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 1994. His replacement ultimately will be selected by the caucus that twice elected him its leader, a position from which he stepped down this summer after officially entering the mayoral race.

He told his legislative colleagues, who gave him a standing ovation, that it was time for him to go home. “I have a 7-year-old, and I take her to school every morning,” he said. “She remarked the other day that she's so glad that I'm home now.”



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