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Ohio Officials Explain Their Support for Clinton, Obama

New polls indicate Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama now running neck-and-neck in the former Clinton stronghold of Ohio. Two state officials discuss which candidate they support and why.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    And now, on the Democratic side, two important competing views in Ohio. Ray Suarez has that story.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Ohio's Democratic elected officials are divided in their public support for Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And while some made their endorsements just this week, two of Ohio's best-known Democrats made their choices early in the campaign.

    Cleveland Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones has endorsed Hillary Clinton. Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman has endorsed Barack Obama. And they both join us now.

    Congresswoman, why did you make the pick you did, and so early in the cycle?

    REP. STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES (D), Ohio: Hillary Clinton and I sponsored a piece of legislation called Count Every Vote to address the irregularities in the voting that occurred in Ohio in 2004. We introduced that legislation in '05 and continue to work together on a number of issues.

    In '06, she was here pushing our legislation in a big rally out at a high school in my congressional district. And I told her, I said, "Sister, if you're going for president, I'm with you." And I'm a woman of my word.

    I believe that Hillary Clinton is the best qualified person to be president of the United States of America. And I endorsed her back in '06, and I have kept with it.

    And I know people are talking about Barack Obama should be the president and my friend, Michael Coleman, and a lot of others, but I stick with my guns. And Mike — I know that my other colleagues, were they in a similar situation, would do of the same.

    In politics, all you have is your word. And I'm sticking with my word.

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