More than 1,000 people packed Ace’s Lounge in Cambria City Thursday night to listen to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the United Steelworkers union call

Sen. Barack Obama’s number.

The Steelers and the USW are traveling through southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio in the final weeks of the campaign season to rally support for Obama.

Prior to coming to Johnstown, their tour bus stopped in Altoona.

Steelers President Dan Rooney drew a standing ovation when he went to the podium to speak.

“This is the most important election in our lives,” Rooney said.

Rooney said he has been monitoring the debates closely and reading everything he can about the presidential candidates and has come to realize that the country has a special man in Obama.

“He reminds me of Jack Kennedy,” he said.

Rooney said Obama is a tremendous person, a great leader and a good family man.

Steelers great Robin Cole told the crowd that the American dream has been fading and the country needs a leader like Obama.

Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris, who received a standing ovation when he rose to the podium, said as he travels the country, he can feel the excitement for Obama.

“Labor, you built America,” he told the crowd which included members of various unions. “You made it strong. You are fighting for the rights of the working class. The change (both presidential candidates are promoting) will only happen when we elect Obama and Biden.”

Top USW officials; the Rev. Sam Scales, pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Johnstown; state Sen. John Wozniak, D-Westmont; and John Hugya, an aide to U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, also addressed the crowd.

Daryl Jefferson of Kernville, an Obama supporter, said the event was wonderful.

“Everything they said was true,” he said about the speakers. “We’re going to go with our gut feeling and get the right man in office.”

Sam Barbato, chairman of the Democratic Party in Roxbury, said the rally was the best one the Cambria County party had all year.

“There was a tremendous turnout,” he said. “It was very exciting to see all the Steelers here.”

Carol Crookston of Johnstown, an Obama volunteer, described the event as awesome.

“It’s going to energize people,” she said.

Rooney’s son, Jim Rooney, when asked after the event about the Steelers’ prospect of going to the Super Bowl, said Coach Mike Tomlin is doing a fantastic job.

“You have to feel good about this team,” he said.

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