MINSTER — As the sun set Thursday night at Earl’s Island Pavilion, along state Route 362 in Lake Loramie State Park, area democrats were discussing how they can win this upcoming election.
“We need democratic supporters to remember: the most important thing that we have is our voice. We don’t have the money, they’ve got the money, but we have our voice. The only way we lose is if we stay silent,” said Frances Strickland, the wife of former Ohio governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland.
Frances, along with other guests Janet Garrett, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, and Tanyce Addison, who is running for election to the state school board, all shared the same sentiment Thursday evening.
“I am standing up here as a person who never thought about running for office,” Garrett said. “But there comes a time in your life when you have to stand up for what you believe in.”
She said when she met Jim Jordan, the incumbent she is running against in the election, she knew she had to do something.
Addison, a retired music teacher, spoke about how when she noticed the students were spending more time taking tests than learning she needed to do something. The state school board race is non partisan, but she tries to get to many different events to meet as many different people as she can.
“I see education as a time for creativity, innovation, a time to teach critical thinking, a time to tell kids: take the risk and don’t be afraid to fail, because that’s what life is,” Addison said. “Children are our most valuable resources.”
Dr. Frances Strickland also holds education close to her heart. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in educational psychology from the University of Kentucky, and worked for many years in a public school system as an educational psychologist.
As First Lady of Ohio, Frances served as the chairwoman of the Family and Children First Council, comprising state-agency leaders that help families seeking government services. Her work also focused on education, the environment and renewable energy.
“I have been by Ted’s side in all his runs to serve the people and I see a guy who has stayed true to his values all the way through,” Frances said. “And today I think he realizes the people need to understand that if we’re going to give power back to the people we’re going to stick together.”
She went on to talk about Ted’s platform and the things he cares about, like jobs, health care, education, and clean energy.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in these areas over the past few years, but now all these things are at risk of being taken away,” Frances said.
She pointed to keeping the middle class strong. “This country can’t survive without a middle class,” Frances said. “How much poverty can a country tolerate and be able to move forward?”
She then played guitar and sang a few songs with Strickland’s message in it, and Garrett joined in to lead the group in singing “This Land is Your Land”.
Other guests in attendance included Democratic Party chairman’s from surrounding counties, Linda Meininger, incumbent Shelby County treasurer who is running for re-election, Bob Geuy, running unopposed for a fifth term as Shelby County engineer, and many others.
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