First Lady Strickland visits Kent State

Nick Glunt

Ohio’s very own First Lady Frances Strickland whipped out her guitar at the end of a meet-and-greet discussion at Kent State today, singing a campaign song for her husband Gov. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”

“We tried to get the campaign message in the song,” Strickland said.

Strickland visited Kent State as the “first full-fledged stop” in her effort to get young adults involved in the campaign to re-elect Gov. Strickland in November.

“I really just want to see what’s on their (the students) minds,” she said before the meeting was called to order. “It’s really important to get them involved with the ticket, so I’m going to try to get some discussion started.”

She opened the floor for questioning that lasted almost an hour. Most of the concerns facing the audience of about 25 people included issues over education and the job market.

Strickland didn’t offer many answers to these issues. Instead, she told the audience she would bring them to her husband so that he may address them in his campaign.

She also covered each candidate on the Ohio Democratic ticket with Gov. Strickland, including candidates for attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state and others. Strickland said she wanted voters to see the human side of these candidates so they may seem more trustworthy.

When she asked how many people in the audience had personally met her husband, Strickland was surprised to see only one woman raise her hand. To make up for this, Scott Surovjak, Next Generation Democrats director, invited everyone in the room to Gov. Strickland’s Columbus residence on June 27.

Mark Miller, president of Kent State’s College Democrats, said he was contacted by the Ohio Democratic Party to host Strickland. Miller and a couple others set up the invitations and reserved the room for her to speak in.

“She’s…trying to round up support for her husband’s campaign,” Miller said, “and to make sure young people turn up to vote and volunteer again.”

The College Democrats accepts volunteers to conduct door-to-door canvassing, as well as other service for political campaigns.

“We know where we need to go,” Strickland said, “we just can’t get there overnight.”

Contact administration reporter Nick Glunt at [email protected].