Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland made an appearance in Marietta campaigning for Senator Lou Gentile, Representative Debbie Phillips, and President Barack Obama.
Senator Lou Gentile will be running in Washington County after the redistricting.
"I'm anxious and excited to earn the trust of the people here in Southeast Ohio and make sure they get the representation they deserve in Columbus," explains Senator Lou Gentile.
WTAP wanted to see what former Governor, Ted Strickland's perspective on Ohio's current economy. With Ohio's unemployment dropping it bares the question, who is the main influence.
"Quite frankly, Ohio's overall economy has improved and part of that improvement, much of that improvement has been manufacturing, and manufacturing was helped greatly by the President's rescue of the auto industry, literally thousands and thousands of jobs were retained and saved in Ohio because of what the President did to save GM and Chrysler," says former Governor Strickland.
Former Governor Strickland notes both Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Governor John Kasich disagreed with the the rescue.
President Obama is commonly criticized for issues surrounding the coal industry.
Governor Strickland says all energy sources should be utilized and believes President Barrack Obama is being misunderstood.
"I believe our energy needs are so big and great that we need to use all sources of energy...."I do not think that the Obama administration is negative towards coal, I think they want coal to be used responsibly and let me say this, the Obama administration is putting hundreds of millions of dollars into clean coal research to develop clean coal technologies," explains former Governor Strickland.
"I think we have to have an all of the above strategy, and I understand that the President has embraced that, we need to have coal, oil, and gas. I think our manufacturers stand to gain from wind and solar and so we need to include those energy resources so we've got a lot of resources to take advantage of," says Senator Gentile.
Both the Senator and former Governor say the race this year will be tight, with Ohio playing the role of one of the key states.
"Ohio always is kind of ground zero in national politics," says Senator Gentile.
"It's usually that way but I think it's even more so this year," continues former Governor Strickland. "And right now the two candidates are very close in Ohio and I think Ohio will continue to get a lot of attention."
Ohio's spokesman for Mitt Romney, Christopher Maloney, says President Obama has adopted a strategy that's fundamentally hostile to coal workers, businesses and communities. He says President Obama's view on coal industries and manufacturing in Southeast Ohio shows how disconnected he is to the middle class.
Maloney also responded to Ohio's economy and jobs saying it's because of the ingenuity of the Ohio worker and Governor Kasich creating successful programs. Maloney says Kasich closed an eight million dollar budget gap after coming in of Strickland.
Maloney does say he agrees that Ohio will be a vital state in the upcoming November election.