- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (ryns PREE’-bus) is using Black History Month to honor the party’s successful black candidates and to field new recruits in the pivotal state of Ohio.

Priebus headlined an event in downtown Columbus on Tuesday that was co-hosted by the state GOP and its chairman, Matt Borges (BOHR’-jihs).

The event was cast as a celebration as well as an update on statewide efforts Republicans are making to engage black candidates and black voters, as well as those in other minority groups.

Ohio twice voted overwhelmingly for Democrat Barack Obama for president, in part on the strength of turnout among black voters. However, Republicans in the state have fielded the only black major-party gubernatorial candidate. Then-Secretary of State Ken Blackwell lost his bid in 2006.

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