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Monday, February 4, 2008

Mayo opens his house to Kerry, for Obama

By Maria Garriga
Register Staff
NEW HAVEN
— Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo is such a supporter of Barak Obama for president that, on Sunday, he welcomed to his Westville home a stop by U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was here campaigning for Obama.
“I’m so excited,” Mayo said. “Most people think a superintendent should not be involved in politics, but there are so many things in education that are on the line, like No Child Left Behind.”
Standing in his driveway, Mayo watched Kerry talking and smiled.
“I never thought I’d be standing here today supporting someone other than Hillary Clinton; it was a struggle. But there is an excitement in his voice.
“He’s authentic. He has it all,” he said.
Mayo said he considers Obama the first viable minority presidential candidate. “Jesse Jackson’s run was symbolic, to show it could be done,” he said.
Obama has gathered a slew of high-profile endorsements across the nation, from the Kennedy clan in the East to the Los Angeles Times in the West.
Mayor John DeStefano Jr., members of the board of Aldermen and other city officials and college students gathered as more than 100 Obama supporters clustered in front of Mayo’s home to hear the senator speak.
“This is about the ability to turn a new page in American history and take us beyond the squabbles and partisanship,” said Kerry, who won the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.
Obama’s chief rival for the nomination, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., plans to make a campaign stop at the Yale Child Study Center this morning,Monday 9:30 a.m. while Obama is scheduled to campaign in Hartford later this afternoon.
Kerry said Obama is more likely than Clinton to attract the independent vote, a factor that could make him more competitive with Republican rival U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is considered the Republican front-runner.
M“As a member of the senate foreign relations committee for 24 years, I find his view of Iraq and the world very exciting.”artin Dunleavy, a Democrat super delegate who lives in New Haven, said that while Obama and Clinton do not have substantial differences in policy stands, they do have very different personalities and leadership styles.
“Sen. Obama does much better on moving issues forward than Sen. Clinton. The president is still the leader of the free world so leadership by building consensus is the direction the country should be going in,” Dunleavy said.
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, New Haven’s other Democrat super delegate, endorsed Obama in an announcement posted on her Web site Saturday.
Maria Garriga can be reached at mgarriga@nhregister.com or 789-5726.

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