A congresswoman also speaks in support in the radio feature.
By JEFF ORTEGA
COLUMBUS -- Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ted Strickland unleashed radio ads Thursday on black-owned and urban stations as part of an outreach to urban voters.
The 60-second spot will be aired in the state's biggest cities, including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, Toledo and Youngstown, said Strickland campaign spokesman Keith Dailey.
"It's a significant ad buy, likely to be up longer than a week," Dailey said.
Dailey declined to reveal specifics of the buy, citing campaign strategy.
The radio ad, done by MacWilliams, Robinson & amp; Partners, a Washington, D.C., firm, opens with a narrator introducing Gene Collins. The Strickland campaign said Collins is a friend of Strickland's and is black.
In the ad, Collins says: "I've found Ted Strickland to be as fair-minded as anyone I've ever been around. He sees everybody as an individual."
The spot then cuts to Cincinnati Mark Mallory, the Democratic mayor of Cincinnati, who is also black.
In the ad, Mallory says: "Ted refused to take federal health care for himself until all of the people in his district have access to health care."
A narrator says in the ad that Strickland has "fought to keep jobs in Ohio and has a plan to protect the jobs we have and create new ones.
"And Ted Strickland's TurnAround Ohio plan calls for investing in education to prepare our children for the future."
The ad then goes to Strickland, who says: "People in Ohio want Ohio to be moved in a more positive, optimistic, hopeful direction."
"And we would focus on the things that really matter to Ohioans: living wage jobs, economic security for their families, education that is affordable for their young people, and health care so that when they or someone they know or love gets sick, they will have access to the health care they need," Strickland says in the ad.
A narrator reminds listeners to "Join Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones in support of Ted Strickland for governor."
Tubbs-Jones is also black.
The ad then finishes with Mallory, who says: "I'm convinced he'll be a great governor."
Strickland, a congressman from eastern Ohio, has been courting more than just black voters.
"Ted's been reaching out to all voters," Dailey said.
Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for GOP gubernatorial nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell, said Strickland's ad buy shows that Strickland is virtually unknown outside his largely rural congressional district that runs along the Ohio River.
"He certainly has to introduce himself to urban voters," LoParo said of Strickland.
Blackwell, Ohio's secretary of state, is familiar with urban issues, having formerly been a mayor and city council member in his home of Cincinnati.
"He's dealt with the issues and concerns facing our large cities," LoParo said of Blackwell.
The general election is Nov. 7.