POMEROY — The lack of jobs in a sluggish economy and the need for bipartisan action in an effort to get the economy moving were the topics discussed at a political meeting of Democrats held Monday morning at the Carpenter’s Hall in Pomeroy.
Attending that meeting were former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, speaking on behalf of President Barrack Obama, State Representative Debbie Phillips, (D) 92nd District, and State Senator Lou Gentile, (D) 30th District, both of whom are running for re-election this year.
Strickland centered his comments on the plight of the unemployed and the ever-increasing gap between incomes in the population describing it as being “greater than ever.” He also voiced his fear that through control by the wealthy the country might be taken from a “democracy to a plutocracy.”
“We have to come together as a people to preserve our democracy,” he said. Describing this as a difficult time, he said the government is “polarized” and in danger of a fundamental change. “We cannot turn over our country to the rich and powerful. We’ve got to win this election,” said Strickland in his endorsement of President Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown.
Speaking of Ohio, he expressed his opposition to the “Cleveland education plan” where public-voted dollars would go into charter schools without public oversight. Phillips joined in that discussion noting the ongoing struggle on that issue currently going on between the two parties in the state legislature.
In response to a question from the audience as to whether he intends to run for governor again, Strickland said “I’ll make that decision by the end of the year.”
Phillips spoke of some good things happening in Meigs County, and how happy she is for having had the opportunity to help. She mentioned Middleport’s proposed solar-powered lagoon system, describing it as creative and innovative, and talked about working together to further job opportunities in Meigs County. She attributed the slowness of legislative action on the state level to partisanship.
Sen. Gentile, whose district has been expanded to include Meigs, began his career in public service with Strickland when he was in Congress. He pledged to the Meigs and Gallia residents attending the meeting that he will “fight for southeastern Ohio, and I’ll help with job growth.”
He spoke of developing natural resources in a safe environmental way and getting local workers back onto jobs.
Mick Davenport presided at the meeting of Meigs and Gallia residents. He introduced two candidates Randy Hart who is running for Meigs County Commissioner, and Pam Riley, a candidate for Gallia County treasurer, both of whom spoke briefly. Barbara Lawrence represented Sen. Brown at the meeting.