Donning a cowboy hat and boots, Country music icon Willie Nelson stepped out Saturday and sang in support of an old friend, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
Ohio’s Fox8 reports that Nelson performed a sold-out benefit for the congressman on Sunday in Lorain, about 25 miles west of Cleveland. Willie previously campaigned for Kucinich during his long-shot bids for president.
“He’s ran for president a few times, and I backed him every time I think, and whatever Dennis wants to do, I’m here to help,” Nelson told Fox8.
According to the Chronicle-Telegram, Nelson and Kucinich first met in 2002 after Nelson contacted Kucinich after being moved by Kucinich’s Prayer for America speech.
During the speech, Kucinich condemned the Patriot Act as unconstitutional, and cautioned listeners that unchecked military spending was creating a “permanent war economy” and called for the replacement of the Department of Defense with a “Department of Peace.”
Kucinich — who said he greatly admired Nelson’s work for Farm Aid — said the two quickly hit it off after meeting.
“Willie’s called me, every once in a while, he’ll write a song, give me a call and say, ‘What do you think about this?’ and because of our friendship, I’ve been privy to some really important messages that Willie Nelson has,” said Kucinich.
Kucinich is in a battle with popular Toledo-area congresswoman Marcy Kaptur for the newly-redrawn 9th Congressional District which stretches from Cleveland to Toledo.
When asked to comment on Willie Nelson’s benefit concert Kaptur quipped that while Kucinich brings singers to northern Ohio, Kaptur brings jobs.
Multiple news outlets report that Kucinich shot back during a news conference before Sunday’s concert that he has worked to save steel jobs in the region.
Here is a new clip from Fox8 on Willie Nelson‘s campaign concert for Dennis Kucinich.