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Clinton thanks Kentucky backers, will visit state

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton personally thanked her Kentucky supporters at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday and said she will visit the state to campaign for presidential nominee Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates this fall.

Jerry Lundergan of Lexington, who was chairman of Clinton's presidential campaign in Kentucky, said she is tentatively scheduled to visit Kentucky on Sept. 20.

Clinton spoke to her Kentucky supporters for about 15 minutes Thursday at her Denver hotel, Lundergan said.

Her visit came after Kentucky cast 24 of its 60 votes for Clinton during the nomination process Wednesday.

Most of the delegation cast their votes at a sometimes emotional breakfast Wednesday, but U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, said he spent much of the day lobbying Clinton delegates to instead vote for Obama.

Lundergan told PolitickerKY.com on Thursday that such "arm-twisting" of Clinton supporters had caused "a lot of hurt feelings."

On Thursday, Lundergan said Clinton told about 35 members of the delegation that they now must work together to ensure a Democratic victory in November.

Lundergan said he didn't think Clinton had visited any other state delegation besides that of her own state, New York, during this week's convention.

Lexington attorney Terry McBrayer, who attended the meeting, said Clinton was "classy."

"She handled it with dignity and discipline," he said. "You have to give her high marks."

The news media might be talking about friction between Clinton and Obama, but he has not seen it, McBrayer said.

"Sen. Clinton has held her head high over this loss and is now doing all she can for the Democratic Party," he said.

Democrat Bruce Lunsford, who is trying to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, said last week that he expects Clinton, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and possibly other nationally known Democrats to be in Kentucky to campaign for him.

Lunsford's remarks came before Biden was announced to be Obama's running mate. McConnell said he would welcome such liberal Democrats to campaign for his opponent.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he will encourage Obama to visit Kentucky, did not attend Thursday's meeting with Clinton.

Beshear had other meetings on his schedule, said staffer Vince Gabbard.

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