WASHINGTON - Alfonse D'Amato, the former three-term Republican senator from New York, today endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for president, bypassing the White House bid by former New York Gov. George Pataki.
In a statement issued by the Kasich campaign, D'Amato was quoted as saying, "I'm all in."
Kasich is the key to winning Ohio in next year's election, necessary to win the White House, D'Amato said. "Kasich is the only candidate who can assure us that victory," he said.
D'Amato, a well known lobbyist in New York and Washington since he was defeated in 1998 by Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer, potentially could help Kasich with fundraising and contacts in Manhattan.
In endorsing Kasich, D'Amato hailed him as "a leader, plain and simple" who is "straight talking." He also said the Ohio governor and former congressman knows how to balance the budget and understands the military.