Vice presidential hopeful to speak at Suplizio Field

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will campaign Monday in Suplizio Field at Lincoln Park in Grand Junction.

Organizers hope to garner 18,000 to 20,000 people in the baseball park on a night that the Denver Broncos play the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.

“How exciting is this?” said Gary Roahrig, chairman of the Mesa County Republican Party.

Local officials have been assured for months that the GOP presidential or vice presidential candidate would visit western Colorado during the campaign.

“We are expecting one of the largest turnouts for any event in the history of this region,” said state Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction.

Palin, the Alaska governor, has drawn crowds that routinely have exceeded expectations, and Penry said he thought the same would happen in Grand Junction.

“If there was a roof, it would be blown off” the stadium, he said.

Colorado is a swing state and the Western Slope is generally considered to be key to GOP fortunes in the November election.

There has been no decision yet on staging for the event, Roahrig said.

Additional detail will be released later, he said.

Doors to the stadium will open at 4:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 6 p.m., according to the McCain-Palin campaign.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama drew about 6,000 people Sept. 15 at Cross Orchards Living History Farm in the first visit to the Grand Valley by a Democrat presidential candidate in four decades.

Grand Junction is familiar territory of late for Republican vice presidents and those who aspire to the job.

Vice President Dick Cheney campaigned in a hangar at the airport in 2004 and attended a fundraiser at a Grand Junction home this spring.

Information about admission to the event will be forthcoming, the campaign said.

Before visiting Grand Junction, Palin is set to speak in Loveland and Colorado Springs earlier Monday.


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