Thursday, July 27, 2000

Bush to visit without Cheney

Rallies planned Saturday, Sunday

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — To the disappointment of local Republicans, presidential candidate George W. Bush will not be joined by his new running mate at weekend political rallies in Covington and Blue Ash.

        Dick Cheney, whom Mr. Bush formally tapped as a running mate Tuesday, will be along for visits Friday to Arkansas and Missouri.

        Mr. Bush then heads into Kentucky on Saturday for stops in Owensboro and Louisville before arriving in Covington early that evening. But Bush campaign headquarters says Mr. Cheney will return to his home in Wyoming to work on his speech for next week's Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

        Meanwhile, local GOP officials and activists scurried Wednesday to prepare for Mr. Bush's visit.

        “It's been hectic but it's been a lot of fun,” said Campbell County Republican Chairwoman Barb Haas, a convention delegate. “We've had to get everything organized from food to balloons to music to signs.”

        Members of Mr. Bush's advance team were in town Wednesday to help plan the event. About 9,000 invitations were sent to area Republicans, said Bob Hopkins, a spokesman at Bush headquarters in Austin, Texas.

        Organizers hope for a crowd of 1,500 to 2,000.

        The Devou Park event begins at the park's overlook at 5 p.m. Saturday.

        Mr. Bush will spend Saturday night in Cincinnati.

        On Sunday he is scheduled to appear at another rally at the Blue Ash Sports Park on Grooms Road. The event begins at 2 p.m., with Mr. Bush expected to arrive by 3 p.m.

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