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Candidates Set Aside Campaigning to Focus on Storm’s Effect

Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate told reporters that while each state’s officials are in charge of elections, FEMA will provide a support function.

The electoral impacts of the historic storm could reach far beyond the travel schedules of the principals, with power companies saying millions of Americans could be without power for an extended period.

With the storm bearing down on his state, Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) emphasized the need for a quick response by FEMA and other departments.

Other lawmakers have sought to demonstrate their interest in the storm response. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) met with local emergency management officials on the eastern Connecticut shoreline, where storm surge could reach the highest levels ever recorded.

Obama canceled campaign events and returned to the White House, even as the campaign apparatus itself carried on its efforts. The president convened a meeting with officials from FEMA and other federal agencies to discuss the storm shortly after returning unexpectedly early from a campaign trip to Florida.

The Romney campaign canceled several events involving the former Massachusetts governor, as well as running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).

“Governor Romney believes this is a time for the nation and its leaders to come together to focus on those Americans who are in harm’s way,” campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said in a statement.

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