How three men helped unify OH Republicans to support Trump

Updated: Nov. 9, 2016 at 4:26 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Could it be? Could three local men from very different backgrounds have a profound impact on Ohio's vote and therefore the election?

Behind the scenes here's what happened when Governor John Kasich refused to back Donald Trump, a move that could have put Ohio's electoral votes in jeopardy for the GOP.

Industrialist Ed Crawford feared there would not be an organized effort in Ohio.

He got busy.

"I began calling friends, Tony George, Tom Coyne and others," said Crawford.

It was coalition of strange bedfellows. Each unwilling to sit on the sidelines and allow Kasich to call the shots. Crawford is Trump's Ohio fundraising chair, Coyne is a long-time Democratic Mayor with deep political ties, and Tony George, a man with Donald Trump's ear.

"He listened and he asked the right questions," George said.

Tom Coyne added, "So taking our collective experiences together, I think the new Republican Party that Donald Trump brings is the working families
of the nation."

Crawford agreed. "We saw a key void in the top echelon of the Republican Party as far as elected officials go and their willingness to back Donald Trump."

But how to get it done? One way was to expose the people of Ohio to Donald Trump, in a way around the establishment who shunned him -- taking
the message directly to the people.

There was a March packed visit to the IX Center during the campaign.

After the convention there were repeated Ohio stops.

Slowly, what they feared was lost became within grasp according to Coyne.

"I think what we realized was that the transformation was happening in the country," Coyne said.

In the end the Trump trio unified segments of labor with management, brought on veterans, and politicians one by one. It helped in some measure to guide Donald Trump to the White House.

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