- Associated Press - Sunday, March 13, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Democrats are getting to compare the party’s top presidential contenders up close just two days ahead of the state’s primary.

About 3,200 people gathered for the party’s annual dinner at the Columbus convention center Sunday to hear from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

The front-running Clinton has been campaigning hard in the state, after losing the Michigan primary to Sanders. Sanders added rallies in the northeast Ohio cities of Youngstown and Akron on Monday.

Guests at the dinner included the Rev. Jesse Jackson and talk show host Jerry Springer, whose early career included a political stint in Cincinnati.

Before Sanders’ and Clinton’s speeches Sunday, state party chair David Pepper said they’ve engaged in a civil, policy-focused debate in contrast to the Republicans’ contentious contest.

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