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Jay Goyal flattered to be in race for Ohio Lieutenant Governor

By Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC
August 15, 2009 04:13 IST
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Ohio House Majority Whip, Jay Goyal is "flattered and honored" that his name is doing the rounds as one of two members of the House leadership team on a short list to be named the next Lieutenant Governor by Governor Ted Strickland.

The OhioDaily blog reported that it has "learned that Governor Ted Strickland's search for a Lt. Governor may be nearing completion and his short list includes at least two members of the House leadership team: Mansfield-area Representative Jay Goyal and Toledo-area Representative Matt Szollosi. Goyal is the House Majority Whip and Szollosi serves as the Speaker Pro Tempore."

Goyal told rediff.com that "It's just a rumor, but I am very honored and flattered." Asked if this is a position he would be interested in, though circumspect he did not deny his interest, saying, "It's my goal to do whatever I can to support the Governor, and if there's a way that I can support the Governor and help, then I am willing to do so."

Goyal also put out a short statement in the wake of queries he had been bombarded with following the report, which was circulated by the Indian American Leadership Initiative,  saying, "I am flattered and honored to have my name mentioned to serve as Lieutenant Governor."

He said, "I've not had any conversations with the Governor about it, and I don't know if anything is likely to happen. But I am honored to have my name mentioned. I fully support the Governor's work to create a brighter and more prosperous future for all Ohioans."

In 2006, Goyal became the first Asian American elected to the Ohio Legislature at age 26 and if Strickland picks him as his Lt. Governor, he would become one of the youngest—if not the youngest Lieutenant Governors in the country.

Goyal told rediff.com  that in recent months besides his leadership position as Majority Whip, he had also been one of three members of the Ohio House of Representatives "to serve on the Budget Reconciliation Committee—the joint House-Senate Conference Committee. So, that was a very important thing here in Ohio because it involved $50 billion and we decided how that is going to get allocated."

 Also, recently he sponsored a unique bill to as he said, "help Ohio retain some of our best and brightest –those college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering or math." Goyal said the legislation—House Bill 123, "will provide a non-refundable income tax credit to anyone earning a degree in these key fields. The credit could be claimed over a 10-year period and allows a carryover of the unused credits to ensuing years." He expressed confidence that "this incentive will increase our retention and thereby provide the skilled, creative workforce we need to be competitive in the global economy."

Goyal said that "additionally, to help create the jobs for these graduates, I have sponsored House Bill 140, which will encourage entrepreneurial projects at our colleges and universities to enter the free market system and create new businesses and jobs." He said that he has also been working with the Ohio Department of Development and Board of Regents "to design and implement an extensive internship program for college students in Ohio."

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Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC
 
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