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Published: Friday, 3/2/2012

Kaptur gets backing from Tom Hanks

Dole, Dingell also pledge their support

Tom Hanks Tom Hanks

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Cleveland) isn't the only candidate in the 9th Congressional District nominating contest with Hollywood backing.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) on Thursday released a letter of endorsement signed by Tom Hanks, along with former Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D., Dearborn).

The letter credits Miss Kaptur as the driving force for the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington.

The memorial was opened in 2004. Mr. Hanks starred in the film Saving Private Ryan and served as national spokesman for the World War II Memorial campaign. Senator Dole, 88, who was wounded in WWII and was the 1996 Republican candidate for president, was chairman of the memorial campaign. Mr. Dingell, 85, is also a WWII veteran.

"As partners with Congresswoman Kaptur in the long national effort to build the Memorial, we wish her all the best in her campaign for re-election and we urge Ohio voters to support her on March 6," the letter said. "She never wavered in her commitment to see the memorial built … and we are thankful to have helped make it successful."

The need for a memorial was suggested to Miss Kaptur by the late Roger Durbin, a retired letter carrier and veteran of the WWII Battle of the Bulge, at a local fish fry dinner in 1987 in Jerusalem Township.

The candidate also has attracted support from singer Crystal Bowersox, an Elliston, Ohio, native. She has appeared on television and radio ads for Miss Kaptur, saying the congressman has helped with juvenile diabetes research and with bringing jobs to the area.

Miss Kaptur is seeking re-election in the remapped 9th Congressional District that now includes west Cleveland and much of the former 10th District that Mr. Kucinich represents. The two, along with Clevelander Graham Veysey, are on the ballot Tuesday. The winner will face the winner of the Republican primary contest in November.

Mr. Kucinich has also brought star power to his campaign, including musician Willie Nelson and actors Warren Beatty and Annette Bening.

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