Home stretch visit

Kerry to make one more stop in Rochester

By Matthew Stolle

Feeling the political love yet?

If not, you'll have at least one more time to feel it. Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry is scheduled to appear in Rochester on Wednesday for a public rally, the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced.


Named the "Fresh Start for America Rally," the event will be at Mayo Civic Center's Taylor Arena. It begins at 11 a.m.

The announcement indicates that that the Kerry campaign has not given up on this traditionally Republican bastion, even though high-profile visits by the Bush-Cheney campaign have outnumbered those by the Kerry-Edwards crowd.

Kerry's planned appearance in Rochester comes exactly a week after President Bush campaigned here in a hangar at Rochester International Airport. Kerry's appearance brings to five the number of presidential and vice presidential campaign visits to the area within the past two months: Two by Bush, two by Kerry, and one by Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Rochester is very important to the campaign," said Stacie Paxton, a spokeswoman for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. "It is in a battleground area within a battleground state. It's thought to be a more conservative area, but we believe that John Kerry's plan to create jobs, make health care affordable and address the growing squeeze on middle class families is resonating with voters in Rochester."

Kerry first traveled to Rochester on Sept. 8. That appearance took place in the backyard of a couple's home in southwest Rochester and was by invitation-only.

Paxton said Wednesday's event will be open to the public. Tickets are required -- the; tickets are free -- and; they can be downloaded from a location on the Kerry-Edwards campaign Web site,, or picked up at the Olmsted County DFL Party office, 2002 Second St. S.W.

Singer Carole King, who has appeared at a handful of private DFL fund-raising events in Rochester, will perform at the rally, Paxton said.

Announcement of the Rochester event comes within days of a Kerry campaign rally at the Metrodome attended by tens of thousands of supporters.

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