Ohio Gov. John Kasich has dropped some hints of what’s likely to be included in the first state budget of his second term.
Singer Pushes Lawmakers To Make “Ohio” State Country Song
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A northeast Ohio man is hitting the campaign trail to promote a cause thatâ€™s very personal to him: enshrining into state law a song he wrote about his home state.
The music was big and loud when the Ohio State University Marching Band stormed into the House chamber before a vote to make Hang On Sloopy the stateâ€™s official rock song.
But the campaign for the stateâ€™s official country song is a bit quieter.
Zach Paxson is a singer and songwriter from northeast Ohio. And heâ€™s on a campaign of his own, for his song â€œOhioâ€. He says he wrote on the way back from the University of Texas/Ohio State game in Austin in 2006.
â€œIt was the first time I felt this sense of Ohio pride, like ‘Wow, we come from a great place.’ On a Saturday at a Buckeyes game, thatâ€™s one thing in Columbus. But to be that far away from home and to see that I was really blown away. So I wrote the song on the plane coming home.â€
Paxson says the song got the attention of Democratic Rep. Nick Barborak of Lisbon near Youngstown after he played it at a fundraiser. Barborak introduced a bill to make Paxsonâ€™s â€œOhioâ€ the official state country song on November 5. Just eight days later, Republican Sen. Jim Hughes of Columbus introduced a bill to name as the official state country song â€œMy Wishâ€, by the platinum selling group Rascal Flatts, which was formed in Columbus. Paxson says â€œMy Wishâ€ shouldnâ€™t qualify as Ohioâ€™s official country song because it was in fact written by a Nashville-based songwriter originally from California.
â€œNot that â€˜My Wishâ€™ isnâ€™t a great song â€“ I love this song. My song, however â€“ â€˜Ohioâ€™ â€“ is written by me, a resident of Ohio, and itâ€™s about the state of Ohio.â€
Though they were introduced a little over a week apart last fall, the bill featuring Paxsonâ€™s song is further along in the process.
â€œItâ€™s House Bill 330 â€“ Ironically, which is my area code â€“ it wasnâ€™t planned out that way, but. And so we played for the committee here at the Statehouse.â€
That committee approved the bill, while the Rascal Flatts song measure has yet to have a hearing. Meanwhile, Paxson is touring, but also campaigning for his song through social media and his website. He says heâ€™s flattered the song is in consideration and that he has no expectations, but if the bill passed, heâ€™d be â€“ using his word â€“ â€œecstaticâ€.