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Potential Senate Candidate Strickland Tries To Downplay Any Political Overtones Of His Work On Coal

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As former Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland nears a decision on running for the U.S. Senate, he is seeking to tamp down any political overtones of his work in Appalachian coal. Strickland is counselor to the Center for American Progress, a progressive-leaning think tank that has released a report calling for reforming coal subsidies on federal land in the West that it claims puts Appalachian coal at an economic disadvantage.  Strickland says the report and its timing were not  political, saying he's long worked to help Appalachian coal communities.  Ohio Republicans and the Ohio Coal Association say Strickland has supported policies harmful to the industry. More from Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler.

Ted Strickland was on a conference call with the group Center for American Progress to talk about coal policies in Appalachia. But reporters couldn’t resist asking him if he’d made a decision about running for Senate – and while he deflected, he didn’t shut them down.  
“No sir, I’ve said that I will make a decision by the end of this month.”  
 
Also on the call, Pennsylvania Congressman Matt Cartwright…..  
“We’re sitting here in northeastern Pennsylvania, so if he were doing this, running for Senate, he might be in the wrong spot.”  
 
But the GOP seems convinced he’s more than just interested. The Ohio Republican Party directed reporters to a statement from the Ohio Coal Association, which blasted Strickland for his support of the Obama administration’s policies that the industry considers a war on coal.  
 

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