Romney campaign returns to Grand Junction

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel—Mitt Romney appeared in Grand Junction, left, in February as he unsuccessfully tried to win the Republican presidential preference poll in Colorado. He returns today as the party’s presumptive nominee.

The presumptive Republican Party candidate for president, Mitt Romney, is expected to discuss the economy and health care, among other issues, at a town hall meeting at Central High School today.

It is the second time this campaign season the former Massachusetts governor has come to town. He held a “grassroots rally” for supporters at Country Inn, 718 Horizon Drive, in early February.

In May, Romney spoke about energy issues at rallies in Craig and Fort Morgan.

Despite those appearances, Romney hasn’t gone to the most populous region of the state, the Denver metropolitan area, since the Feb. 6 presidential preference poll. That day, he lost Colorado to Rick Santorum by 5 percentage points.

On Monday, the candidate attended fundraising events in Aspen.

Here, Romney is expected to honor a local student, J.D. TenNapel.

Last month, the 15-year-old Cedaredge resident earned national acclaim when he hopped on his ATV to ride through flames to warn neighbors north of town of a wildfire. His story has received national attention, including an interview on The Today Show.

Ray Houlihan, the grandfather of the Cedaredge eighth-grader, said his grandson was undergoing a background check by the Romney campaign.

“A background check on a 15-year-old?” Houlihan said. “Can you imagine that?”

It is unknown how long Romney will be in town, or what format the town hall will take. Similar town hall events, however, have the candidate answering direct questions from area residents in attendance.

The event starts at 10 a.m., but doors to the school, located at 550 Warrior Way, will open at 9 a.m.

Those wishing to get inside must have a ticket, which they can get by registering at


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