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Strickland hopes for Ohioans' participation



Published: Wed, November 15, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Students are encouraged to attend the inaugural in January.

By JEFF ORTEGA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- Gov.-elect Ted Strickland wants his inaugural to be accessible to as many Ohioans as possible.

The Lisbon Democrat appointed former U.S. Sen. John Glenn and his wife, Annie, on Tuesday as the co-chairs of his inaugural.

Strickland, a congressman who defeated GOP nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell last week to become the first Democratic governor in 16 years, and Lt. Gov.-elect Lee Fisher will be sworn in privately Jan. 8 shortly after midnight.

On Jan. 13 there will be an inaugural celebration -- though the details are not yet known.

"This is an inaugural for all Ohioans," said Glenn, who served as a U.S. senator and became America's first man in orbit in 1962. Glenn returned to space 36 years later at 77.

Glenn said one goal will be to encourage all Ohioans, especially students, to participate in the inauguration.

"We want to turn our young people on to politics," Glenn said.

A Strickland campaign official said the inaugural committee headed by the Glenns will develop the inaugural program over the next few weeks.

"The goal is to enable all Ohioans to participate in the full inaugural, not just the festivities but also to see a swearing-in ceremony," said Keith Dailey, a Strickland spokesman.

Strickland said he was unsure how much the inaugural would cost.

"I don't think we've gotten to that point yet," he said.

He pledged that every contribution received by the Strickland inaugural committee would be made public.

Transition team

In other matters, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, who will chair Strickland's transition team, said officials will seek out the best candidates for positions in the new administration.

"We want to recruit the best talent," said Coleman, who sought the Democratic gubernatorial nomination until withdrawing from the race late last year.

Coleman said transition officials will seek out candidates and make a recommendation to Strickland.

"The hiring decision rests with the governor," Coleman said.




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