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John Gilligan’s legacy of service



Published: Sat, September 7, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Cincinnati Enquirer: John Gilligan’s life is best summed up in one word: service.

It’s a word that is repeated in nearly every reminiscence of the former Ohio governor, who died Aug. 26 at 92 at his home in Clifton.

Gilligan was a public servant who believed that government had a role to play in improving lives. His career is an example we should look to in this era of gridlock, sequesters and government by crisis.

As governor, he had the courage to push for a state income tax and then to campaign vigorously to keep it during a referendum challenge.

At the end of his single term as governor in January 1975, Gilligan reflected on what he accomplished in his four years of service as governor: “We were able to demonstrate we could make life a little better for the poor, the elderly, the racial minorities, the mentally ill and retarded without any great sacrifice of our living standards.”


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