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The "Jobs First Express" Roles Through Ohio in a Multi-State Campaign
By Michael Cappetta, 14, Ohio
Scholastic Student Reporter

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (center) speaks at a roundtable discussion about jobs with Cleveland mayor Jane Campbell (left) and Columbus mayor Michael Coleman (right), at the Slovenian National Home in Cleveland on Tuesday, April 27, 2004. (© Tony Dejak/AP Wide World)
Tuesday, April 27—Senator John Kerry's "Job's First Express" made a swing through Ohio today. The three-day bus tour targeted four key states that have suffered job losses in the last three years.

"We're going to build a stronger economy in America, and we're going to do it by putting jobs first," Kerry told a conference of mayors in Cleveland. "I'm going to build on that plan [creating more jobs] and talk with voters in Ohio about how we are going to rebuild America by strengthening the economy and putting Americans across this country back to work."

The Democratic nominee for President spoke at a Manufacturing Jobs Summit with Democratic mayors from around the state. He promised to help the mayors solve their economic problems by bringing manufacturing jobs back to the state. More than 1,000 invitation-only spectators attended the summit.

"I'm here this morning because I believe manufacturing should not—and must not—be a ghost of America past," Kerry said. "The only way to build a stronger America is to build a thriving manufacturing sector—with good, solid manufacturing jobs of the future. Jobs that can be, once again, the backbone of the American economy."

Mayors attending included Jane Campbell, Cleveland; Michael Coleman, Columbus; Jack Ford, Toledo; Dean DePiero, Parma; and Joe Sulzer, Chillicothe. Since the state's Democratic mayors now control all of the state's urban areas, Kerry hopes to use their political clout to rally the Democratic base there.

Kerry attended a fund-raiser in downtown Cleveland after the summit. The campaign raised about $750,000.