Getting Ready for Edwards

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President Bush came to Parkersburg twice this year, and Wednesday WVU at Parkersburg will be the site of a political visit by Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards.

Ronald Reagan brought his first campaign for president here nearly 30 years ago, and just last June, the Reverend Jesse Jackson made WVU-Parkersburg part of a three-state rally focusing on the problems of Appalachia, but the Jackson visit was on a Monday night after the school year had ended.

"This is a Wednesday when we have most of our classes in session," says WVU-P spokeswoman Connie Dziagwa, "so we will ask our students to be understanding and patient of the situation. It is going to put a strain on our parking facilities, but it will be worth it."

Dziagwa says more than 500 people are expected to attend the invitation-only event. She says that will make parking a problem for students who attend classes, but she hopes that in spite of whatever headaches it produces, the Edwards visit will have a benefit for the students.

"It's an opportunity to see the activity around a national political personality," Dziagwa says, "and we hope they will also get a glimpse of him while they're here."

Students at Ohio University will get more than a glimpse of Edwards when he campaigns in Athens later in the day. The Town Hall meeting takes place Wednesday at noon at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

Since seating is limited, the event is invitation only and not open to the general public. The Athens event is public and will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Ohio University's Baker Center, although the gates will open at 5 p.m.

Tickets for that event are available at the Athens Victory 2004 headquarters on West State Street. They will also be available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Washington County Democratic headquarters on Putnam Street in Marietta.

Tickets are not required for the rally, but the campaign encourages people to get them for access to the best viewing areas.