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McCain, Ann Romney headed to Alabama

By Phillip Rawls
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — Arizona Sen. John McCain, a presidential candidate who's been a frequent visitor to Alabama, will be back in Birmingham on June 15-16 to raise money for the Alabama Republican Party and for his own campaign.

Then on June 19, Ann Romney, wife of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is planning a visit to Birmingham to rally support for her husband's presidential campaign.

Alabama is still getting regular visits from candidates or their spouses even though several larger states have moved up their 2008 presidential primaries to coincide with Alabama on Feb. 5.

State GOP Chairman Mike Hubbard said McCain will speak at the party's summer fundraising dinner at 7 p.m. June 15 at the Sheraton Hotel. Tickets are $100 per person.

McCain, a Vietnam veteran, is tentatively planning an activity with the Veterans of Foreign Wars before the dinner, a party spokesman said, and he will attend a private fundraiser the following day.

McCain is the second presidential candidate to speak to a state GOP fundraising dinner in Alabama this year.

Romney spoke to the party's winter dinner in Montgomery in February.

At noon on June 16, Jere and Lyda White will host a fundraising luncheon for McCain at their Birmingham home.

Tickets are $1,000 for individuals and $2,300 for hosts, according to a statement from McCain's campaign.

Previous visits

This marks McCain's fourth trip to Alabama this year. He attended the state inaugural festivities in Montgomery in January, raised funds in Birmingham in February, and spoke to the Legislature in Montgomery in March.

Ann Romney has been in Alabama almost as frequently. She accompanied her husband to Montgomery in February and she was back in the capital city in April to address the Alabama Federation of Republican Women.

State Treasurer Kay Ivey, a leader of Mitt Romney's campaign in Alabama, said Ann Romney will appear at a fundraising reception at the Birmingham home of Lee and Kelly Styslinger at 10 a.m. June 19.

Lee Styslinger, is president of Altec Inc., an equipment and service provider to utility and telecommunications companies, and he is a member of Romney's Alabama finance team.

Regular tickets for the reception are $250, but purchasing a $500 ticket will get the supporter a photo opportunity with the candidate's wife, according to the invitations.

Alabama's presidential primary is slated for Feb. 5, an increasingly crowded date with about a dozen states planning primaries.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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