Frances Strickland, the wife of Ohio Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland, said Saturday evening that although her husband is down in the polls, she still thinks he’ll be elected Tuesday.
The former first lady of Ohio visited Athens to speak with a small group of canvassers at the Athens County Democratic Party headquarters, 77 E. State St.
“I think when you’re (fighting for the average person), that’s the key to it,” she said before addressing the volunteers. “You always participate, you always stay in the fight, and you don’t look at whether you’re winning or losing.”
About ten volunteers were present at the headquarters, some of them returning from canvassing the neighborhood.
“Ted thanks you, Hillary (Clinton, Democratic presidential nominee,) thanks you, and I am so glad that I got a chance to be with you today,” Strickland said.
Strickland said the campaigning volunteers had participated in “wonderful work.”
“You all are kind of looking after people who don’t have any understanding of what kind of difference these policies make,” she said. “I ran into a guy today who said he’s never registered to vote because he just doesn’t see what difference politics makes anyway.”
Jim Wendelken, an Athens resident, returned from canvassing in time to see Strickland speak. He estimated that he knocked on 30 different people’s doors and the responses he got were overwhelmingly positive.
“Out of everyone I talked to there was only one person that was like, ‘no Hillary,’ " he said. “Everyone else was like totally on board.”
He said it was exciting to meet Strickland face to face and called her and her husband “special kinds of candidates.”
“They’re really genuine, sincere people,” he said. “I don’t think that’s always true of politicians. I think it’s interesting to see that and to know that you’re really working for something worthwhile.”
Maryann Garber, an Athens resident and a volunteer at the Democratic headquarters, said it was nice seeing Strickland in person. She said most of the people the canvassers have encountered support Strickland and Clinton.
Garber said she supports Ted Strickland because he supports average Ohioans, not just “the one percent.”
“What’s really nice is that first of all, she is such a purely loving, kind, open person, and she is easily approached, she listened, she remembers your name,” she said.