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DeWine and Brown campaign intensely



Published: Mon, October 30, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Democratic candidate, who campaigned in Akron on Saturday, leads in polls.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, campaigned in the eastern part of the state Saturday while Democratic challenger Sherrod Brown crisscrossed the northeast as one of the country's hottest races entered the home stretch.

The seat is considered key to Democrats' hopes of taking over the Senate. They need to pick up six seats on Nov. 7 to do so. Two independent polls released this month found Brown with leads of 7 and 12 percentage points among likely voters.

Brown attended get-out-the-vote rallies in Akron and in its suburb of Wadsworth, while DeWine, who is seeking a third six-year term, did likewise in Medina, Ashland and Wooster. He also visited the Zanesville branch of the Fraternal Order of Police to pick up the statewide group's endorsement.

GOP security blankets

Brown likened Democratic campaigns this year to taking away the GOP's security blanket. Scandals in Washington and Ohio have left Republicans vulnerable.

"We are right down Main Street, mainstream Ohio," Brown told the faithful at the rally in Wadsworth. "Come Nov. 7, we're going to take all their blankets away."

Sandy Whited of Seville is a Canadian native who has lived in the U.S. since 1954 and became an American citizen in March.

"I'm really upset with the way the country is going, I've lived here and paid my taxes. I could no longer sit back and not vote," Whited said.

In Akron, Brown returned to the blanket theme at a rally at Summit County Democratic headquarters.

"Mike DeWine, a 12-year U.S. Senator, thought he should just have another six or 12 or 18. He just can't believe we're going to take his blanket," Brown said.

At a later stop at the University of Heidelberg in Tiffin, Brown talked about making Ohio a leader in the use of ethanol and other alternative fuels.

Pancakes for DeWine

DeWine, meanwhile, had breakfast at the Kiwanis Pancake Day at Wooster High School. His wife, Fran, passed out copies of her latest cookbook. He reminded voters of what he's brought home to Ohio during his Senate career.

"I think people are listening to what I'm saying, which is there's a big difference between Sherrod Brown and myself. He's out of the mainstream. ... I'm in tune with Ohio voters," DeWine said.

DeWine said he is especially fond of stopping by local restaurants and taverns, as he did in Democratic-leaning Parma Friday night.

"We don't know if they're Republican or Democrat as we walk in," DeWine said.




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