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Ohio mayors campaign for Clinton in Athens

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College Democrats and Athens Mayor Steve Patterson welcomed two other Ohio mayors to College Gate Friday during the “Ohio Cities Are Stronger Together Bus Tour.”

Athens was the last of 18 stops on the tour, a four-day event during which mayors from across Ohio campaigned across the state for the Democratic presidential candidate.

“Ohio mayors are ones that are, I think, really hardworking and really close to the ground, and they understand what their communities need,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said. “They really want to have a good partner with the White House. So we’ve been traveling the state, really just sharing that message and sharing what Hillary Clinton would do for cities in Ohio and really comparing that to what Donald Trump would do to cities in Ohio.”

According to Whaley, one unprecedented result of the tour is the support she’s received from Republican mayors.

The other mayor to attend the event was Chillicothe’s Luke Feeney, an Athens native and OU graduate who joined the tour at its start in Dayton on Tuesday and campaigned in several cities before leaving. He rejoined the tour on its last leg.

“It’s definitely good to be home and it’s good to see the energy here and everybody working,” Feeney said. “It’s really been an awesome experience, really fun to see the amount of energy that is behind the campaign and I think that the bus tour’s helped with that.”

College Democrats set up a table at the event where people could register to vote. According to Communications Director Andy Price, this is something the group tries to do every week and will continue to do until the Oct. 11 registration deadline. The group’s goal is to register as many people in Athens as possible.

“Getting people to register, getting people out there to do their civic duty and vote, I think the overall event is going really well. It was great having the bus roll into Athens as the final stop on the tour,” Mayor Steve Patterson said. “I think it means a lot to the city of Athens. I also think that it’s kind of this final safe haven to roll into, as well, given that we are such a Democrat enclave here in the city of Athens.”

The mayors expressed that their support for Clinton is partly due to their opposition of Donald Trump’s policies.

“I think the key is that (Trump would) be really dangerous for Ohioans. I mean his policies are ones that don’t help people that are working hard. They just help the top,” Whaley said. “I think that’s really the key point. We need to get above the rhetoric and just be really clear about what he would do to Ohioans.”

Whaley added that she also supports Clinton because, if elected, she would be the first female president.

“She inspires me, as a woman mayor,” Whaley said. “I get little girls every day that tell me that they can be mayor someday, and I’m really excited that once we elect Hillary in November that little girls will realize that they can be president, too.”

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