Some Democrats in Northeast Ohio appear to be warming to Republican Gov. John Kasich, who has been spending a great deal of time in that part of the state during his 18 months in office.
But others don’t believe him when he says his frequent visits to the Democrat-rich area are prompted by his love of Cleveland, according to The Plain Dealer
“It’s very similar to where I grew up,” Kasich told the newspaper, calling it a “cool city” and denying that there’s any political motive to his 77 visits so far to the area.
“It was no concerted effort like, ‘How many times can we go up there.’ I just go up there. I just like it,” he said.
Still the visits appear to be paying off politically. Cleveland Democrats say they appreciate the attention, especially when the governor reveals his support for local issues.
Just last week, for example, Kasich was at one of Cleveland’s black churches to sign a bill sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Shirley Smith allowing ex-convicts to obtain occupational certifications and driving licenses. Smith publicly praised Kasich, noting he was the first governor to support the bill, the Plain Dealer reported.
Ronnie Dunn, an associate professor of urban affairs at Cleveland State University, also told the newspaper he likes the idea of any Republican reaching out to Cleveland’s traditionally Democratic black population.
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