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May 26, 2006

John Kerry Thanks Voters at Mean Bean Appearance

John Kerry poses for a photograph outside the Mean Bean on Sunday. (photo courtesy of Kim Spangler)
John Kerry poses for a photograph outside the Mean Bean on Sunday. (photo courtesy of Kim Spangler)

U.S. Senator John Kerry had a cup of Mean Bean coffee and spoke to an audience of about 30 people on May 20 in the downtown coffee shop's second-floor meeting space.

After delivering the commencement address at Kenyon College, Kerry visited Delaware, where he spoke for some 15 minutes about prescription drugs, health care, the war in Iraq, fair trade, gas prices, and other issues facing the U.S. 

Ohio Wesleyan University professor of fine arts Cynthia Cetlin was checking out the Delaware Arts Festival when she saw the crowd forming at the Mean Bean's back door.

"And then I saw his head, because he's so tall," Cetlin says.

Cetlin, who had heard Kerry speak on May 15 at Emerson College's commencement ceremony, says she welcomed the opportunity to shake Kerry's hand and tell him how much she enjoyed his address in Boston. "He was terrific," she says.

Pat Staley, an at-large member of the Delaware County Democratic Party who recently was elected a member of Ohio's Democratic Party Central Committee, 19th district, says Kerry thanked local Democrats for all the hard work they and other Ohio Democrats did in the run up to the 2004 presidential election.

"He says nothing about what he plans to do in 2008," Staley says. "He basically came to thank the Democrats in Delaware County."

Retired attorney April Nelson says Kerry encouraged his Democratic audience to keep working for change.

"He was preaching to the choir and he knew that," Nelson says.

She added that the people who heard the speech were pleased to be there. "This is Delaware County. It's not as if we get to see nationally-known Democrats very often," she says.

Kerry, who was accompanied by Democratic Congressional candidate Bob Shamansky, also stopped in Utica after leaving Gambier. After his Delaware visit he headed north to Toledo to campaign for Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland.

Kim Spangler, secretary of the Delaware County Democratic Party, says plans for Kerry's Delaware visit were kept low-key because his visit was to be so short and informal. 

"Everyone was kind of stunned," she says. "They were excited … It was almost like a kickoff to a campaign."

— Margo Bartlett