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Published: Friday, 7/16/2010

Governor Strickland makes attack against opponent during suburban Toledo stop


Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland brought his campaign for re-election to suburban Toledo Friday with a blistering attack on his opponent, Republican John Kasich.

Mr. Strickland hammered away at Mr. Kasich's record in Congress and as an employee of the former Lehman Brothers investment firm that went bankrupt in 2008.

He accused Mr. Kasich is running as a "stealth candidate" who would not answer questions about his plans to phase out the state's income tax.

The governor made his statements during a stop at the home of retired teachers Jeff and Laraine Bunck on Heathwyck Road in Monclova Township during what he called his Main Street Tour.

That tour was also to take him to Lima Friday.

"John Kasich will take us backward. He will support the wealthy and he will neglect the needs of working people," Mr. Strickland said of his opponent. He appealed to local Democrats to overcome what has been called an "enthusiasm gap" between those trying to get back in power over those now in power.

Mr. Kasich has attacked Mr. Strickland over the loss of some 400,000 jobs since he became governor in 2006 and has blamed Ohio's economic decline on high taxes and regulations that he said drive business away from the state.

Two local Republicans stood on the street across from the Bunck home with placards saying "Failure."

Mr. Strickland claimed his record of support for K-12 education, freezing college tuition, and encouraging alternative energy are laying the foundation for the state to make an economic comeback.

The governor said he is renewing his appeal to President Obama's Federal Emergency Management Agency to declare Wood and Ottawa counties eligible for disaster assistance as a result of the tornado June 5 that killed six people.

He said if federal funds do not become available, "we'll try to find whatever relief we can using state funds, but the state's got serious budget problems."

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