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Did Sanders' Speech Monday Convince His Ohio Supporters To Back Clinton?

Bernie Sanders speaking at the DNC.
Bernie Sanders speaking at the DNC.

PHILADELPHIA – Not all of the 63 Ohio delegates who will cast their votes for Bernie Sanders Tuesday night have come to peace with the idea of Hillary Clinton as the party's nominee, but Sanders' speech to the convention Monday night did bring many of them around.

"I have to admit I had tears in my eyes when Bernie spoke last night," said 19-year-old Sanders delegate Kelly Schroeder of Loveland at Tuesday's Ohio delegation breakfast.

"But, after listening to Bernie, I'm feeling very good about this," Schroeder said. "He's been telling the truth for many years. So if he says he'll do what he can to help elect Hillary Clinton, then I have to do what I can too."

Jared Kamrass
Credit Howard Wilkinson / WVXU
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Jared Kamrass

Jared Kamrass, a political strategist from Cincinnati whose Rivertown Strategies has helped raise money for the Clinton campaign, said he thinks "at the end of the day, there is only one choice" for Sanders' supporters.

"The stakes are very high here," said Kamrass, who helped organize a successful fundraiser for Clinton at Mayor John Cranley's home. "Come the fall, people will be enthusiastically supporting Hillary's campaign and be willing to go out and work for her."

For Kamrass, who will help run Cranley's re-election campaign next year, there is one issue that ultimately will bring nearly all of the Sanders' people on board – an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy.

President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland, but Senate Republicans refuse to consider the nomination. That means the next president will have to make an appointment.

"That new Supreme Court justice could be the deciding vote on all kinds of issues important to Democrats and progressives," Kamrass said. "Voting rights, collective bargaining rights, campaign finance, the reproductive rights of women. All of it.

"People will have to ask themselves – who do they want making that appointment, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump," Kamrass said. "The question answers itself for Democrats. And that means a vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton is a vote for Donald Trump."

State party chairman David Pepper, a former Cincinnati council member and Hamilton County commissioner, is a supporter of Hillary Clinton but said he has admired Sanders "all the way through this process."

"I thought he made a great speech last night," Pepper said Tuesday. "He made it clear that his supporters must now get behind Hillary Clinton. And that is what I think is going to happen."

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