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Strickland: Gov. Kasich benefited from Dem. policies and stimulus billions
Former governor says Ohio was turning around before Kasich took over and the numbers prove it

The national economy crashed midway through Strickland's single term. He says the way he spent stimulus money is paying dividends for his successor now.
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In The Region:

The economic recovery is already playing a big role in Ohio’s gubernatorial campaign – and Republican Gov. John Kasich and his Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald aren’t the only ones debating who gets the credit.

Democrat Ted Strickland was unseated by Kasich in 2010. He maintains that Kasich took over an economy benefitting from his policies and $10 billion in federal stimulus money.

LISTEN: Strickland on recovery
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“I don’t think it’s unfair for me to say that I gave Gov. Kasich an economy that was in recovery and during the last year of my tenure as governor, we were seeing some significant job growth and unemployment was down.”

For his part, Kasich says he hesitates to use employment numbers, but they tell an important story.

LISTEN: Kasich on unemployment
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“That unemployment number, which I always use very reluctantly because it can go up when people are looking for work and go down when people stop looking. But we’re now up to the -- I think -- its 263,000 mark or something like that. It’s pretty good. So we’re moving in the right direction.”

After losing 350,000 jobs between January 2007 and January 2011, Ohio has added more than 250,000 private sector jobs, making the state fifth in the nation in private-sector job creation.  But a recent Baldwin Wallace University study showed Ohio has yet to regain 120,000 jobs it lost since December 2007. 

Here's an extended interview with former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland

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