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GOP gets nods from FOP but not for governorship



Published: Thu, July 27, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The police union endorsed Betty Montgomery over Marc Dann of Liberty.

By JEFF ORTEGA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio has endorsed Democrat Ted Strickland for governor.

Lt. Nick DiMarco, president of the FOP of Ohio, said Wednesday a major reason for the endorsement was GOP gubernatorial nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell's position on the state collective bargaining law.

DiMarco said Blackwell told FOP officials that he believed the state collective bargaining law "needs some adjustment."

"It was probably a big factor," said DiMarco, who is with the Garfield Heights Police Department in suburban Cleveland.

"He does believe that Ohio's state government collective bargaining laws are very rigid," said Carlo LoParo, Blackwell's campaign spokesman. Blackwell is Ohio's secretary of state.

"We certainly made an effort to obtain the endorsement," said LoParo. "They decided to go in another direction."

In a statement, Strickland, an eastern Ohio congressman, said he was honored to receive the FOP's support.

Strickland said, if elected, he would seek to work with law enforcement to ensure safe communities.

Other endorsements

At the FOP's annual conference held in Dayton earlier this week, the FOP also endorsed:

Republican attorney general candidate Betty Montgomery over Democratic candidate Marc Dann, a state senator from Liberty.

Republican secretary of state candidate Greg Hartmann over Democratic candidate Jennifer Brunner.

Republican state auditor candidate Mary Taylor over Democratic candidate Barbara Sykes.

Democratic state treasurer candidate Richard Cordray over Republican candidate Sandra O'Brien.

Republican Robert Cupp for Ohio Supreme Court justice over Democratic candidate Ben Espy.

Republican Terrence O'Donnell, an incumbent Supreme Court justice, over Democratic candidate William O'Neill.

The FOP endorsed incumbent U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, a Republican, over Democratic candidate Sherrod Brown.

John Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, said endorsements from groups such as the FOP can carry weight with voters. "People sit up and listen," Green said.

Also, endorsed political candidates sometimes are able to benefit from an organization's resources and networks, Green said.

The FOP of Ohio has about 24,000 members in Ohio. Voters head to the polls Nov. 7.




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