- Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants Ohio voters to make a big statement in November.

Christie told Republican backers at a rally in suburban Cleveland on Monday that giving Ohio Gov. John Kasich and running mate Mary Taylor a resounding victory will show that the party’s policies are working.

“It’s not good enough for me to see John and Mary re-elected,” Christie said. “I want to see them re-elected by a substantial margin, because it would send a strong message across America about the way we want to see our leaders govern.”

Kasich has substantial leads in polls and fundraising over Democratic opponent Ed FitzGerald, whose campaign has been stymied by controversy and staff defections.

Christie was joined at the get-out-the-vote rally near Cleveland by Kasich and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. All three, who have been mentioned as potential presidential candidates in 2016, spoke during the event.

A number of other prominent Republicans joined the rally in suburban Independence, which took place in the political backyard of FitzGerald, who is the Cuyahoga County executive.

Christie said that Kasich was his best friend among all of the other Republican governors, joking that Kasich was quiet and shy.

Kasich encouraged backers to continue to put up yard signs, volunteer with the campaign and get out and vote.

FitzGerald spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said in a statement that “Kasich needs to spend less time palling around with the wealthy and well-connected, and more time actually learning about the realities middle class Ohioans are facing.”

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