A crowd of about 70 people packed tightly into a back room of the former Maria’s Roman Room restaurant on Monday to officially mark the opening of the Barack Obama presidential re-election campaign.
And of course, a few local elected officials got the crowd fired up for the upcoming Nov. 6 election.
The space where diners once enjoyed pizza and pasta at Maria's Roman Room will now be used for cold-calling and coordinating door-to-door efforts for the campaign effort.
The campaign office — one of only two Obama west-Cleveland outposts — has already seen some action since organizers .
Dining rooms are now lined with desks, computers and telephones. Large maps, detailing the area that volunteers will canvass, hang from the walls.
Several local officials — including former Lakewood mayor and current county executive Ed FitzGerald — offered their endorsements of the current Commander in Chief.
“It’s great to see Obama’s ahead in the polls,” said FitzGerald to roaring applause.
FitzGerald also some time taking aim at Republican Gov. John Kasich, and the governor’s cuts to local governments and schools — signaling his possible intention to run for the governor’s seat in 2014.
There were other local Democrats who spoke during the event, including county councilman Dale Miller and Cleveland City Councilman Jay Westbrook.
“We are right smack dab in the heart of victory,” said Westbrook. “Your vote counts … You have the key to unlock this victory.”