Alaska to GJ a familiar journey for one family

No one, perhaps, is more excited than Debbie Harrison to see Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin when she visits Grand Junction on Monday.

Harrison, who runs an assisted living service, Visiting Angels, said before she and her husband, Tom, moved to Colorado in July, they were longtime residents of Wasilla, Alaska, which is Palin’s hometown.

“She is just profoundly personable,” Harrison said. “Everyone calls her Sarah. I know you hear that. I’ve heard it on the news. It’s the truth.”

Harrison should know. She said she and her husband have attended numerous events with the former Wasilla City Councilwoman, mayor and Alaska governor.

“When we go to her functions, my husband hugs her,” she said.

Harrison said she and her husband moved to Grand Junction three months ago. She said she used to work in real estate, and her husband owned a coffee shop in Wasilla’s mall.

Having lived in Wasilla and Grand Junction, Harrison said the two communities are similar. She said both communities rely on the energy industry and have a rural character.

“Your racial makeup here is the same. The economic growth is the same as Wasilla,” Harrison said. “I think she can relate very well to the community of Grand Junction.”

Harrison said the media coverage and her political handlers have muted her personality on the campaign trail since she joined John McCain’s ticket in late August.

“She’s always been a saint,” Harrison said. “No matter what position she has been campaigning for, she’s always been the same.”

She said she hopes Palin’s personality shines through when she speaks Monday at Suplizio Field.


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