Trump voters should pick Strickland

To the Editor:

It isn’t a secret: Democrats aren’t popular here. Romney won Miami County by 35 percent in 2012, and Trump might go higher. Outsiders see this and assume that places like Troy and Tipp City are “backwards” communities in flyover country. They imagine a Big Sea of Red (for Republican), where the citizens vote blindly based on a candidate’s party, no matter what they say or do.

But that story is wrong. The voters in Miami County are independent and they don’t always fit into the national media’s story. Contrary to the caricature of Trump voters as being cut from the same “deplorable” cloth, the voters here care about many different issues. The voters here are farmers and veterans, blue collar and middle class, families and little league parents, police officers and gun owners, evangelicals and small business owners. Folks here are independent, and that’s why they should pick Ted Strickland for US Senate.

Ted is fighting against bad trade deals, and he’s fighting to protect our schools and communities, put our veterans first, and expand access to health care and education. Many folks don’t know this but before Strickland got into politics he was a Methodist preacher, a prison counselor, and the first in his family to go to college (like me!). Ted fights for Ohioans like us in the Miami Valley, our hearts not far from Kentucky and West Virginia. In Congress he fought for Appalachian folk in SE Ohio, and tackled the drug problem before it spread to our side of the state.

Faith voters find fellowship with Ted. As a congressman, he voted against partial-birth abortion. When references to God were missing from the 2012 Democratic platform, Ted fought hard to have them re-inserted.

Gun owners and veterans have a friend in Ted. As governor he created Castle Doctrine in Ohio and expanded concealed carry. That’s why the NRA endorsed him in 2006 and 2010.

He promoted the Ohio VA in his Cabinet and made veterans retirement benefits tax-exempt.

Conservatives and Independents should stand with Ted. In 2006, Miami County cast 47 percent of its votes for Strickland as governor, and in 2011 we overturned SB5 with 50.14 percent. Voters can do it again in 2016. Cast your first vote for Trump or Hillary or Gary Johnson: it doesn’t matter to me (honestly!). But on that second vote, make the independent choice and pick Strickland for Senate.

— Cameron DeHart