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Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland talks to a group of patrons at the Athens County Democrats office on March 1, 2020. Strickland gave a talk in support for Presidential candidate, Joe Biden.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland holds organizing event for Joe Biden

Correction appended.

Former Gov. Ted Strickland held an organizing event Sunday for former Vice President Joe Biden to promote Biden’s electability and the “moral imperative” to defeat President Donald Trump in November.

Strickland spoke at the Athens County Democratic Party office, 74 E. State St., to a crowd of about 10 voters starting at 1 p.m. Strickland, a Democrat, said he came to Athens because he was asked by chair of the Athens County Democratic Party and former congressional chief of staff, John Haseley. Strickland also said he wanted to speak because the 2020 election is an important moment.

“The most important thing, the moral imperative, is to defeat Donald Trump,” Strickland said. “He is a danger to the country and I think he is a danger to the world.”

Strickland said Biden has the broadest appeal to Americans when compared to other candidates. 

Strickland said while candidates, such as Mike Bloomberg, are pouring a lot of money into the state, he still thinks Biden will win Ohio on March 17. 

“I've known Joe Biden for a lot of years. I’ve spent a lot of hours with Joe Biden, and he is the real deal,” Strickland said. “There are no perfect candidates. But in my judgment, he is the candidate that is most able to appeal to the most people in this country.”

Strickland also said, however, that he would back any Democratic nominee for the presidency. 

“I would vote for an inanimate object,” Strickland said. “I mean, stand up a cardboard cutout and I’ll vote for it.”

Strickland said Biden is also the most promising candidate to ensure the Democrats take control of the Senate and maintain balance in the Supreme Court. He thinks Biden’s more moderate approach and appeal to swing voters in comparison to other candidates would allow for the court to be protected from further radicalization.

Voters, like Athens resident Ted Linscott, agreed Biden’s more moderate approach could work in Ohio, and across the nation.

“If Biden is our candidate … I see him having a shot delivering Ohio for the presidential,” Linscott said. “I absolutely think he definitely has a shot in Ohio for the primaries. I think he’s the only one who has a chance to deliver Ohio for the presidential.”

As other candidates, such as Mike Bloomberg, are beginning to organize in Athens, so will the Biden campaign. 

The Biden campaign will have at least 16 organizers on the ground throughout Ohio, and campaign rallies will also occur. The nearest expected rally will be in Columbus, Alysia Peters, Biden political director for Ohio, said.

Strickland said he thinks Biden’s message aligns well with Athens County voters, but he isn’t sure they’ll vote for him.

“Athens is a very special place,” he said. “I never want to presume what Athens Countians … choose to do. Thankfully, they always supported me … (I) always had a wonderful experience here myself.”


Correction: A previous version of this report misspelled Alysia Peters’ name. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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