The nation needs Ted Strickland as Ohio's governor, the congresswoman said.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- While her congressional district includes the inner-city Los Angeles communities of Watts and South Central, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters said her constituents and those of U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, whose district is largely rural, are quite similar.
"Ted talks about rural America with its poverty, lack of jobs, housing issues and help for our schools," she said. "We have the same problems in the inner-city."
Waters spoke Wednesday at a rally for Strickland, of Lisbon, a Democratic congressman running in the Nov. 7 election for governor. About 75 people attended the event at the Grace Evangelistic Temple Church on Shehy Street on the city's East Side.
"Ted knows we must be about job creation, investing in our community and universal health care," she said. "One of the best things to happen in America on Nov. 7 is electing Ted."
Waters said she is a good friend of Strickland's, who is leading Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, by double digits in most polls.
An eight-term congresswoman, Waters serves in Democratic House leadership as a chief deputy whip and on the House Democratic Steering Committee that determines committee assignments for House Democrats.
Waters spent most of her speech talking about national politics, criticizing Republicans and the Bush administration particularly for the war in Iraq, the way they fight terrorism and for giving tax cuts to the wealthy.
"I feel change in the air," she said. "Now it's time to take this country in a new direction."
Waters was introduced by Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams, who is endorsing Strickland.
Waters said Williams represents everything she preaches about: getting a good education, getting involved in the community and answering the call to serve the public.