Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Padgett Joins Petro Campaign

St. Sen. Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton) joined the Jim Petro for Governor campaign as Petro's running mate for Lt. Governor just weeks after Petro's original Lt. Governor nominee, Phil Hemilich, left the campaign to run for re-election as Hamilton County Commissioner. According to analysis provided by the Columbus Dispatch, Padgett was selected by the Petro campaign to counter southeastern Ohio strength by favored Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland of Lisbon, if Petro wins the Republican primary for Governor on May 2, 2006. A week before the Padgett announcement, Strickland as selected former Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher of Cleveland as his Lt. Governor candidate. The other major Republican candidate for Governor, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, has yet to make an announcement concerning his choice for Lt. Governor. In Ohio, the winning gubernatorial candidate of his or her party's primary election selects their own Lt. Governor candidate and they both run as a ticket, unlike in Illinois or Pennsylvania, where Lt. Governor candidates run in their own separate primaries without much input from the gubernatorial candidates themselves.

Commentary: The choice of Joy Padgett is an especially solid pick for the Jim Petro campaign. Her gender makes her the first female to be part of a gubernatorial campaign of the 2006 cycle in Ohio and her geographical advantage would be of immense help against Ted Strickland in the general election in November 2006. As a former school teacher, Padgett also brings much legislative and professional experience in education. Before being elected to the State Senate in her own right in 2004 against Democrat Terry Anderson (which was a fairly competitive race that ended 54%-46%), Padgett served as Director of the Office of Appalachia for Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and before that served four elected terms in the Ohio House of Representatives.


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