CINCINNATI (AP) - Retired Sen. Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio on Thursday endorsed Democratic candidate Howard Dean's presidential campaign, bypassing Dennis Kucinich who, like Metzenbaum, is from Cleveland.
Dean accepted the endorsement and said he hopes to win Ohio, which supported George Bush in 2000.
"I am determined Ohio will be a Democratic state in 2004," he said.
Metzenbaum (pictured, above), a Democrat who retired from the Senate in 1995 after three terms, declined to tell reporters why he backed Dean, the former Vermont governor, over Kucinich, an Ohio congressman and former Cleveland mayor running for president.
"I like Dennis Kucinich," Metzenbaum said during a joint appearance with Dean in a park along the Ohio River. "I find no fault with him. But Howard Dean provides all the qualifications ... we need in a president, and that's not to denigrate Dennis Kucinich. In any horse race, you have to pick one horse, and I picked Howard Dean."
Asked if he thinks Dean can win, Metzenbaum replied: "I don't think I'd be here if he was a loser."