reviewed:Strickland takes lead, business trip

Tony Lange

Pollsters indicated a lead swing in the Ohio’s governor’s race Wednesday.

Thirteen days before the election, CNN/Time pollsters found Gov. Ted Strickland (D) taking a lead over his challenger and former representative, John Kasich (R), by a 48 percent to 47 percent margin of likely voters. The survey has a 3.5 percent margin of error.

But Strickland did not mention the poll during his stop at Akron Polymer Systems Inc. in Akron on Wednesday. The small business has a unique expertise in high-performance polymers toward the development and commercialization of innovative technologies and products. Eleven of its 12 employees have PhD degrees.

One of the new products Strickland learned about during his visit was a decomposable bag used for gathering autumn leaves.

“I am someone who cares about this state very deeply. I work very hard,” Strickland said after touring the polymer lab located on Gilchrist Road. “I work in collaboration with local leaders and the business community and I don’t want to turn this state over to someone who represents Wall Street values.”

The vice president of business development, Matthew Graham, said Akron Polymer Systems has been very successful and has had offers from other states such as South Carolina to move the company out of state. Strickland and other local leaders kept the business in Ohio, he said.

“(They) really stood up and said, ‘You need financing to help build a building? We’re going to help you find that financing. Do you need land? We can help you find that land in our city to keep you here. In fact, we’re going to keep you by the university where your major workforce is going to come from’,” Graham said while describing his relationships with Strickland, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Summit County Executive Russ Pry.

All three men were present along with about 25 Strickland supporters.

Strickland’s efforts to keep college tuition frozen and to renew Ohio’s Third Frontier—a technology-based economic development initiative—have been critical for small businesses, Graham said.

“Ohio to promote higher education and to produce that high-tech workforce is essential for our continued growth,” Graham said. “The Third Frontier is very important. That shows the commitment of the state to high-tech growth and building new industries and technologies that don’t exist anywhere.”

The University of Akron gives more degrees in polymer science than any university in the world and Akron Polymer Systems was almost stolen away, Lt. Gov. Candidate Yvette Brown (D), said.

“When we hear our opponents talk about privatizing the Department of Development, it drives us crazy,” Brown said. “They say we’re not effective. Really? We have the sixth-fastest growing economy in the country. Our unemployment rate has decreased for five consecutive months. We have been ranked the number one state for small businesses in the Midwest.”

Kasich wants to politicize Ohio’s Department of Development and the Third Frontier, Strickland said.

“It’s the most effective job creation economic tool we have in our state,” Strickland said. “If (Kasich) is elected, it’s dead. What’s this guy for? We know what he’s against. He’s against education reform.”

Kasich talks about things he doesn’t know anything about, Strickland said.

“He says he’s going to get rid of our education reform because he wants to direct more money into the classroom,” Strickland said. “That’s exactly what the evidence-based model is designed to do. It’s not about me. Thirteen days and the future of our state is at stake.”