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VIEWPOINT Be part of Ohio’s bellwether tradition BY A N T H O N Y J. A H E R N It’s not usually a compliment to tell someone that they hold two opposite, contradictory opinions. But what if a group of people col- lectively hold two opposite, contradictory views? If you haven’t noticed, the November 6th elections are just over the horizon. This year, Ohio is again one of the swing states. Ohio has laid claim to this mantle since the 1800s. Ohio voters correctly picked the winning presidential candidate in the last 11 elections. No Republican has won the presidency without carrying Ohio since Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860. With a large population total and multiple urban centers, home to manufacturing and high-tech, but also with a large agricultural base and many rural counties, Ohio is a microcosm of the nation. We have been called a bellwether state because of the mix of rural, suburban and urban, Republican and Democrat, industrial and agricultural to be found here. For evidence of our lack of political intransigence, consider that our current governor, John Kasich, is an “R” who followed a “D,” Ted Strickland. We have one U.S. senator, Rob Portman, who is a Re- publican, while the other, Sherrod Brown, is a Democrat. Although the Republicans control the Ohio General Assembly, 23-10 in the Senate and 59-40 in the House, all the mayors of the 10 largest cities in the state (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Youngstown, Canton, Parma and Lorain) are Democrats. That Ohio voters have not been firmly in the camp of either major political party reflects an open-mindedness and willingness to think for themselves. My compliments go to the voters of Ohio, who collectively are not ideologically unmovable but react much as the nation does on the issues of importance. Don’t pass up the opportunity to be among the group of Ohio citi- zens whose views actually contribute to the outcome of races. Which presidential candidate receives Ohio’s 18 electoral votes and goes on to claim the Oval Office depends a great deal on the Buck- eye State and you, the voter. 2 COUNTRY LIVING • OCTOBER 2012 Volume 55, No. 1 October 2012 Contact us: www.ohioruralelectric.coop Anthony Ahern Steve Oden Rich Warren John Howley Chris Hall Bernice Mattison Nikki Heath Adam Specht Margie Wuebker Chip Gross Sandy Woolard Tim Dickes President & CEO Dir. of Comm. Managing Editor Editor Art & Prod. Manager Publications Coord. Graphic Artist Comm. Specialist Food Editor Outdoors Editor Advertising Advertising COUNTRY LIVING (ISSN 0747-0592) is the official publication of Ohio Rural Electric Co- operatives, Inc. With a paid circulation of 294,786, it is the monthly communication link between the rural elec tric cooperatives in Ohio and West Virginia and their members. Subscription price: $4.30 to $6.50 per year to co-op members; $12 per year to nonmem- bers. Nothing in this publication may be re- produced in any manner without specific written permission from Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. All rights reserved. National advertising representatives: NATIONAL COUNTRY MARKET, based at 611 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704 1-800-NCM-1181 The fact that a product is advertised in Country Living should not be taken as an endorsement. If you find an ad- vertisement misleading or a product unsatisfactory, please notify us or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Section, 30 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215, or call 1-800-282-0515. Cooperative members — Please report any change of address to your local electric cooperative. Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, OH and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to editorial and advertising offices at: 6677 Busch Boulevard Columbus, OH 43229-1101 Telephone — 614-846-5757 Serving on the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Board of Trustees are George Brake, chairman; Dennis W. Schindler, vice chairman; Jack Schmidt, secretary/treasurer; Charles Grimes, Paul Berridge, Thomas McQuiston, Robert McCort, Donald McCracken, Jack L. Kitchel, Daniel McNaull, Robert E. Wise, Shirley J. Stutz, David Corbin, Barry Jolliff, Warren Taylor, James R. McConnell, Eugene Royer, Mitch Headley, John Saxton, Harold E. Cooper, Larry Weirich, Jeff Wilson and David P. Miller. Anthony J. Ahern, president; Kurt Helfrich, counsel.