Salem Business Prepares for Romney Visit
Reporter: David Tate
Salem, VA. - For the first time since the presidential campaign season kicked off, one of the major candidates will make a stop in southwestern Virginia.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney will be stopping into Carter Machinery in Salem Tuesday afternoon.
It's a campaign stop scheduled just this past Friday making for a busy weekend for many folks at Carter Machinery.
Already, Romney's advance team is in town setting up everything that will be needed to help get his message out. Before getting to this point, the Romney camp had to find a spot to hold the rally, which was probably the easy part.
Congressman Morgan Griffith made an unannounced stop here late Friday afternoon.
"They're looking for a place to hold a press conference and little speech for the public and would we be interested. And of course it took about a half a second to make that decision and we're excited about it," said Carter Machinery CEO Jim Parker.
Parker hasn't seen the script but believes when the former governor comes, he will be sure to talk about jobs and the EPA's current stance on coal regulation.
"We're big into that. It represents about 2/3 of our employees. It's big for us and I think he just wanted that back drop of a company that is deeply engaged in this business and works everyday with our great customers in the coal mining industry," said Parker.
So with just a few days notice, machinery needed to be moved, the area needed to be spruced up and management needed to get the plan from the Secret Service.
"It's been a whirlwind to say the least. We've had Secret Service here, we've had a tremendous amount of support from the Romney campaign, police, fire. So we'll see how it unfolds tomorrow but we're ready for it," said Dan Strelka, CFO for Carter Machinery.
This event is open to the public. There is an RSVP system in place, which requires you to get tickets in advance. You can get tickets here.
Gates open at 10 a.m. with Romney expected on stage at noon.