(CNN) - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, picked up the support of the National Rifle Association Monday, offering voters a reminder of his culturally conservative views as he battles Republican John Kasich in a difficult re-election bid.
It's the NRA's first general election endorsement of the 2010 cycle.
"Our members will interpret your 'A+' rating and endorsement as an indication that you are a pro-Second Amendment, pro-hunting candidate who supports sportsmen and gun-owners on every issue," said Chris Cox, the chairman of the NRA's Political Victory Fund, in a letter to Strickland provided to CNN by a source familiar with the decision.
In backing Strickland, the NRA cited his vote while in Congress against the 1994 assault weapons ban.
Kasich, also in Congress at the time, voted for the legislation and earned an "F" rating from the NRA that year, though his ratings from the group have since climbed out of the cellar.
Strickland has a narrow lead over Kasich according to recent polling.
(CNN) – Fans of nearly every NBA team would love to see Cleveland Cavalier great LeBron James in their uniform next year, but Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Gov. Ted Strickland are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The two politicians, along with a handful of other Ohio celebrities, star in a new web video imploring the NBA MVP to remain in Cleveland.
The video, a parody of the 1985 charity single “We Are the World,” features Brown and Strickland, among others, belting such lyrics as “Please stay LeBron, We really need you. No bigger market's gonna love you half as much as we do.”
Related: CNNSI.com: LeBron's future
Full lyrics after the jump
Washington (CNN) - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a battle-tested campaigner hailing from a critical bellwether state, is warning congressional Democrats that they risk blowback in November if they attempt to pass immigration reform and climate change legislation ahead of the midterm vote.
"I think we need to proceed with some awareness of the potential political consequences of the actions that are undertaken here in Washington," Strickland said Thursday in a sit-down with CNN reporters and producers.
The governor, facing a difficult re-election campaign against Republican John Kasich, is in the nation's capital for a series of meetings and fundraisers. Strickland served six terms in the House, representing coal-rich portions of eastern Ohio, before winning the governorship in 2006.
Though he expressed general support for climate legislation and said "it will eventually happen," he questioned whether the Obama administration should make it a priority this year.
"When I say the climate change issue could be a problem, it's the timing and it's the specific nature of the legislation," he said.
Washington (CNN) - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, locked in a tough re-election fight against Republican John Kasich, is going negative in his first television ad of the campaign.
The tough new ad features Meghan Cofield, a Dayton factory worker whose job "got shipped to China" thanks to trade deals like NAFTA, which Kasich voted for when he served in Congress.
The ad also takes on Kasich for his ties to Lehman Brothers, the collapsed Wall Street investment firm. Kasich spent seven years in Lehman's Ohio branch.
"Congressman Kasich couldn't possibly understand what Ohioans are going through right now," Cofield narrates. "And now he wants to be Governor? Does Ohio really need a Congressman from Wall Street for Governor?"
But if the commercial is new, the ad's main character - and some of its footage - is not.
Washington (CNN) - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said Friday that his security has been "beefed up" in recent days after a domestic extremist group sent letters to more than 30 governors demanding that they resign.
Nevertheless, in an interview on CNN's "John King USA," Strickland said he does not feel "personally threatened."
Federal intelligence officials said there do not appear to be credible or immediate threats of violence attached to the letters.
"But I do think it's sad that in our nation today we would have these kinds of threats," Strickland said.
"You never know when some wrong-thinking person or some hate-filled group will carry out actions that could be harmful to individuals. I hope it doesn't happen anywhere across our nation, but I can tell you that I feel very secure here in Ohio."
Washington (CNN) - National Republicans are attacking Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland for planning to appear with President Obama at a rally for health care reform in Ohio next Monday.
Strickland, a Democrat, is seeking a second term but faces a challenge from Republican John Kasich.
"Ted Strickland has mishandled the Ohio economy and budget and now he has cast his lot with the misguided and unpopular government takeover of health care," Republican Governors Association spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement Friday. "If he thinks this is good for Ohio – or good politics – then it's a good thing he'll be retiring soon."
The RGA also circulated a February poll from Quinnipiac that suggested a majority of Ohio voters "mostly disapprove" of health care reform plans currently in Congress. That same poll showed Strickland leading Kasich by five points.
Strickland's campaign shot back that Republicans are trying to change the subject on the same day the New York Times published a story outlining how Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers used misleading accounting gimmicks before the bank collapsed in 2008. Kasich is a former managing director of Lehman's investment banking division in Columbus.
Washington (CNN) - Republicans pounced on Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan this week when her campaign said she would be in Washington while President Obama was visiting her home state Wednesday pitching health care reform.
The GOP's claim: Carnahan is trying to keep her distance from the White House in what's shaping up to be a tough election year for Democrats. Democrats dismissed that charge and said it was a scheduling conflict.
But in Ohio, Gov. Ted Strickland is making sure his schedule is cleared for next week's visit by the president. Strickland, who is facing a tough challenge in his re-election bid from Republican John Kasich, will join Obama in northeast Ohio on Monday to promote his health care plan, a Strickland aide said.
The first-term Democrat, saddled with a difficult economy and a state jobless rate nearing 11 percent, led Kasich by five points in a mid-February poll by Quinnipiac University.
(CNN) - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is making a modest rebound in polls, a new survey released Tuesday shows.
According to the Quinnipiac University poll, 48 percent of Ohio voters approve of the job that Strickland is doing as governor, with 4 in 10 disapproving. The 48 percent approval rating is up 3 points from a November 2009 rating of 45 percent, which was the Democratic governor's lowest score in Quinnipiac polling since he won office in 2006.
The survey indicates that Strickland, who's battling for a second term, leads probable Republican challenger John Kasich 44 percent to 39 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup. Strickland and Kasich, a former congressman, were deadlocked at 40 percent in Quinnipiac's November poll.
"There has been an improvement in voters' views of Gov. Ted Strickland," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The movement is a few points, but it is consistent across a number of measures. Voters, however, remain negative on his handling of the state budget and the state economy."