Canton Repository

September 28, 2004

Stark presence repeated seen in Kerry election ads

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON — Stark County, a bellwether for presidential elections, can’t seem to stay out of the national political spotlight.

After appearing in one of Sen. John Kerry’s first campaign television ads, footage from a town meeting held at Perry High School on June 25 has been used in another four ads that have aired across the nation.

Two of those ads, “Right Track” and “Defend America,” which promote the Democratic presidential candidate’s views on national security and the economy, are airing in Ohio and other states.

Footage from the town meeting also appeared in “Different Story” and “Uninsured” as well as the original ad, “Ohio Workers.”

Dan Fonte of East Canton, a retired business manager from the Plumbers, Pipefitters and Refrigeration Local 94 in Canton, has appeared in at least two of the ads, and friends tell him they’ve seen him in a third.

“It’s kind of ironic, I was just finally able to catch it the other day,” he said of one of the ads where he appears, which he had not seen. “Finally, I ended up seeing it. I think I finally saw it Saturday.”

The original “Ohio Workers” ad showed Kerry walking around in Perry High School with a microphone, as he discussed job loss. The ad was labeled as originating in “Massillon.” Fonte, a Kerry supporter, is seen in the ad sitting in a chair, listening to Kerry.

That ad began airing July 7 in Ohio and several battleground states but has since been taken off the air.

In the “Defend America” ad, which began airing Sept. 19, Fonte stands up and claps.

“It’s good footage and we’ll continue to use it when telling the story of John Kerry,” campaign spokeswoman Kathy Roeder said.

President Bush’s campaign has aired two Ohio-based ads, but neither was filmed in Stark County.