Published Tue, Jun 12, 2012 8:10 am Dateline
Former Governor Ted Strickland made a campaign stop in Athens Monday.
No, Strickland is not running for office but he's lending his support to Lou Gentile, who is.
"I know how hard he works," says Strickland. "I know how deeply he cares about people. I know his values. He has good values, good, solid, Southeastern Ohio values."
Strickland is a Democrat and so is Gentile and they first worked together when Strickland was a congressman and Gentile was on his staff.
Now, Gentile is running for the Ohio Senate in the 30th District.
It's a newly constituted, nine-and-a-third county district that includes, among others, Athens, Washington and Meigs counties.
The election is not until November but Gentile says he wanted to get an early start.
"The Senate Republicans have publicly named me as their top target in the Ohio Senate this year. That's why we're out so early," says Gentile.
Gentile lives in Steubenville.
He was in the Ohio House, but got appointed last fall to fill the 30th District Senate seat held by Jason Wilson before he resigned to become Director of the Governor's Office of Appalachia.
Campaigning in Athens, too, was Democratic State Representative Debbie Phillips and the three of them also stopped in Pomeroy and were going on to Marietta.
Shane Thompson of Saint Clairsville is Gentile's Republican opponent.