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POLITICS Governor and challenger reach out to voters



Published: Tue, September 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The governor and his opponent didn't meet during their visits to the fair.

By IAN HILL

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

CANFIELD -- Tim Hagan says he's got nothing personal against Gov. Bob Taft, even though Hagan's Internet site features animation of Taft riding a quacking duck.

"It's just politics," Hagan said.

On Monday, during a visit to the Canfield Fair, Hagan said the duck was a takeoff on the duck that squawks "AFLAC!" in television commercials. He said the duck is meant to draw attention to discrepancies between what Taft says and Taft's record.

A list of those discrepancies appears on the site after the duck, Hagan said.

Hagan is a Cleveland Democrat and Youngstown native running against Taft in the November election.

Positive campaign

Taft, who also visited the fair Monday, stressed that he is "waging a positive campaign." He noted that during his administration, GM announced that it would build a new car at its Lordstown plant and $100 million was committed to rebuilding the Youngstown schools.

"This campaign is really about jobs and economic development," Taft said.

Taft and Hagan did not meet during their visits to the fair, even though both men were at the fairgrounds at about 3 p.m.

Hagan used his visit to criticize Taft's record on education and jobs. He made a statement about Taft's record during a rally at the Mahoning County Democratic Party tent.

Hagan said that about 400 Ohio schools have not passed the state report card, and that tuition has increased at most state universities in the past few years. He called the tuition increase a "tax on the middle class."

"People are finally waking up to what's happening politically in this state," Hagan said, adding that, "Jobs are disappearing."

Big business

Hagan also said Taft has accepted about $8,000 in contributions from big business interests each day since the gubernatorial race began. He said that he would represent the interests of the people and not big business.

Several area officials and candidates attended the rally, including U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lucasville, D-6th; state Reps. Ken Carano of Austintown, D-65th, and John Boccieri of New Middletown, D-57th; and state Sen. Bob Hagan of Youngstown, D-33rd, Tim Hagan's brother.

hill@vindy.com




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