Sunday, February 22, 2004

Ruvolo to lead Ohio campaign for Kerry



By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

John Kerry has tapped an old political hand in Ohio to guide his presidential campaign in the Buckeye state leading up to Super Tuesday, the March 2 primary in Ohio and nine other states.

Jim Ruvolo, the longtime chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party who also was the senior adviser for both the Clinton and Gore campaigns in Ohio, has signed on to be state chairman for Kerry's campaign.

"One of the reasons I accepted this job is how seriously John Kerry is taking Ohio," Ruvolo said Saturday. "We've already hit the ground running."

The Kerry campaign opened eight field offices around the state Saturday, including one in Cincinnati. Volunteers will start working phone banks in the Cincinnati office on Tuesday. Kerry will be in Ohio on Tuesday and Wednesday, taking a jobs tour through northwest Ohio.

Meanwhile, Kerry's chief rival for the Democratic Party's nomination, John Edwards, spent Saturday in Cleveland. Edwards' Ohio campaign is being led by Ohio House Minority Leader Chris Redfern.

Patrick Dillon, Edwards' Ohio press secretary, said the senator likely will visit southwest Ohio sometime before the primary. Television ads will begin airing in the Dayton area today, he said.

Ruvolo said it is unclear if Kerry will even make it back to Ohio after his visit next week, much less make an appearance in Southwest Ohio.

E-mail dklepal@enquirer.com




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