February 2007 Issue
For months, they scratched their heads and asked: "Ted Who?" They're not asking that anymore, but maybe they should.
"They," by the way, include members of the press as well as more representative Ohio voters -- most of whom seemed surprised, if not stunned, by the increasing popularity of Ted Strickland as he campaigned for Ohio governor. Voters took their measure of the man and figured him out enough to make him their 62nd chief executive. (There's an asterisk on that, but more about that in a moment.)
Campaign insights notwithstanding, we're just beginning to get to really know our new governor. Character and personality, after all, are all about nuances. Which brings us to this month's profile ["The Outsider," page 70], in which Associate Editor Jennifer Haliburton gives us an up-close and personal look at the life and thoughts of the new governor and his wife, Frances. In the nuances of who they are, we learn not only what to expect from the new first couple, but also why.
Speaking of nuances, back to that asterisk. Strickland is our 62nd governor if you start with the first one to hold the office since Ohio became a state in 1803. (That was Edward Tiffin who, by the way, was an ordained Methodist deacon -- a noteworthy asterisk of its own in light of the fact that Strickland is an ordained Methodist minister.)
You could, however, call Strickland number 63 if you start Ohio's governor count just before statehood. Under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which created the Northwest Territory, Gen. Arthur St. Clair was appointed governor of what is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, along with parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota. When the territory was divided in 1800, St. Clair served as governor of the Ohio Territory, keeping the job until 1802.
Here's another asterisk for you: The 62 (or 63) Ohio governors could be 68 (or 69) if you count repeaters (those who skipped terms and came back).
The count also includes a fairly recent governor whose term is often forgotten. Nancy Hollister, Ohio's first and only female governor, served from December 31, 1998, to January 11, 1999, having moved up to the governor's chair from her position as lieutenant governor when George Voinovich resigned to take his place in the U.S. Senate.
And how's this final asterisk to bring us back to the governor at hand? When Hollister was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998, she was defeated by none other than Ted Strickland.
All of which proves that asterisks are important. The nuances they represent are important, too. Turn to this month's profile of Ted and Frances Strickland to learn more.