Covering the Region

While it also has its share of young Republicans, in many ways Ohio University is a natural place for the Democratic candidate for vice-president to campaign. The school's home county is one of the most heavily Democratic counties in southeast Ohio.

"That's pretty nice, especially being the small school we are," says student Eric Switala.

"There are a lot of Kerry-Edwards supporters here," says McKenzie Kleinman, "and I'm sure a lot of the kids are excited to see him come."

Athens resident Frank Horodyski says Edwards' visit motivates the community to do more than just show up.

"I'm hoping people go out and vote," he says. "I think that's really important."

OU in fact has been the site of a number of presidential and presidential campaign visits. It was on this campus, exactly 20 years ago, that President Lyndon Johnson announced his great society program, but the interest isn't just among Athens residents.

Kerry-Edwards campaign supporters in Marietta have also been distributing tickets to Wednesday's Athens rally.

"It's during the workday, but I think people who want to get there, will get there," says Democratic volunteer Molly Varner. "They're very interested."

Varner says there's been interest in the rally from both sides of the Ohio River.

"I do not think this is Bush country," Varner says. "Since this office opened in early June, we have had a steady stream of folks looking for Kerry-Edwards information as well as information about local candidates. We have been very surprised and pleased."

John Edwards' appearance Wednesday at WVUP is by invitation only, and Molly Varner tells us that's why people from Wood County have been picking up tickets for the Athens rally.


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