Mooresville attracts Romney’s attention
by Staff Writer
MOORESVILLE – Mitt Romney will visit Mooresville just days after his presidential campaign opened one of its battleground voter mobilization centers in town.
The Romney campaign announced this week that the presidential hopeful will begin the North Carolina portion of his “Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class” bus tour at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at the NASCAR Technical Institute, 220 Byers Creek Road.
Rachel Adams, communications director for Romney’s North Carolina campaign, said the campaign chose Mooresville as a location for one of the state’s 20 Victory Center headquarters to mobilize Iredell County’s Republican stronghold. The Mooresville-based Victory Center opened Aug. 6.
The Romney campaign has established Victory Centers in key battleground states where Republican voters could tip national election results in their favor. The latest data from the Iredell County Board of Elections shows the number of registered Democrats trail Republicans by almost 11,000 people.
“We only lost North Carolina in 2008 by 1,400 votes, so every vote counts,” Adams said. “The purpose of the Victory Center is to identify as many Republicans and get them out to vote on Election Day.”
The Iredell Republican Party will share the Victory Center at 136 Corporate Park Drive, Suite B, Mooresville, with the Romney campaign. The center’s operations are funded as a joint effort by the Republican National Convention, North Carolina Republican Party and Romney Campaign, with the goal of “electing Republicans up and down the ticket,” Adams said.
Colorful signs promoting Republican candidates for local, state and national offices, such as Pat McCrory and Robert Pittenger are posted outside of the building. Volunteers will use phone banks housed inside to place phone calls on behalf of the Romney campaign as the election nears.
“We will make up the difference (in votes) for a lot of folks (in other parts of the state) who aren’t able to,” said Pittenger, a three-term Republican state senator running against Mecklenburg County commissioner Jennifer Roberts for Congress.
Roberts and Pittenger are vying to fill retiring U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick’s seat in the state’s 9th Congressional District, which includes portions of Mecklenburg, Union and Iredell counties.
Iredell County Commissioner Ken Robertson said despite the county’s high percentage of Republicans, Romney supporters in the area should still fight hard at home to make up for losses in Democrat bastions such as Chapel Hill, Durham, Wake County and downtown Charlotte. About 62 percent of Iredell County residents voted for U.S. Sen. John McCain during the 2008 presidential election, according to election data.
“We have the ability not just to win, but win big here,” said Robertson, an eight-year commissioner running for another term.
He added that President Obama’s plan for healthcare overhaul will create spending at a level unheard of since the creation of social security, Medicare and Medicaid. He predicted a conservative U.S. Congress and N.C. General Assembly would refuse to fund “Obamacare,” passing on the cost to local governments.
The goal of stopping the healthcare plan, he said, should mobilize Iredell County Republicans to rally around Romney.
“We will be stuck, and as a conservative Republican, that really bothers me – being stuck with Obama’s promises,” Robertson said.
NASCAR team owner and Romney supporter Jack Roush also made an appearance at the Victory Center opening.
Romney’s tour will make other stops in High Point and Morrisville after his morning appearance in Mooresville, according to the candidate’s website. Free tickets for Romney Mooresville appearance are available at www.mittromney.com.