Taking His Message To Northwest Ohio: Romney Sets Defiance Rally

By Nina Settappa
By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

October 23, 2012 Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 11:52 PM EDT

DEFIANCE, Ohio. (www.incnow.tv) - Defiance Ohio is preparing to take center stage in the sizzling presidential race.

The town is getting revved up for a visit by the Republican challenger in the race for the White House.

Defiance Ohio is used to flying under the radar.

That's about to change.

At noon-time Tuesday, it was made official: Thursday, GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will roll into the city for a big political rally.

The local GOP headquarters spent the day processing ticket requests.

" Northwest Ohio is an important area to get out the vote for all that Mitt Romney stands for," said Romney supporter Bruce Gamiere, who came by the headquarters for tickets to the event.

" I’m very excited. I watched the debates last night, and I’m rooting for him," said Anne Gregory.

" I told my boss, I said I'm leaving. I'll be back in a little bit. So, I got four tickets, so, we'll be there to support him," said Kelly Moss.

The Romney rally prompted postponement of the city's popular pre-Halloween Trick or Treat night.

" They've officially postponed it until next Tuesday. So, he may be in trouble with the 8-year olds, when it comes to the polls," said Rick Small, with local radio station Mix 98.1.

12 days before the election, the rally is expected to draw between 10,000 and 15,000 people.

The football field at Defiance High School is where the event will take place.

The Secret Service has contacted local police to work out security issues.

Country music stars John Rich and Randy Owen are scheduled to appear with the Republican Presidential candidate.

Defiance is in a Republican friendly part of the state, but Romney didn't make a lot of friends at Defiance's big GM foundry, when he opposed President Obama's auto industry rescue.

Among Romney's detractors, City Council member and union supporter Joe Eureste.

" People said let them go under and let them go broke, or go through normal bankruptcy when there's no money to lend and no plan to reorganize yourself. How can you survive?" said Eureste.

The city's mayor shudders to think what would have happened to Defiance if the foundry's $90-million annual payroll disappeared.

" Some felt that we'd be a ghost town. I'm the mayor and I felt that way," said Democrat Bob Armstrong.

The auto bailout question aside, there's almost no question a lot of people in the community will give Romney the red carpet treatment come Thursday.

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