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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Palin lining up New Port Richey visit Saturday



Sarah Palin is expected to hit Sims Park at 9 a.m. Saturday for a rally.

New Port Richey city manager Tom O’Neill said he got a phone call this afternoon from John McCain campaign officials who say they want Palin at the park, where Joe Biden spoke Monday night. The steel barricades remain out in anticipation.

The campaign, though, hasn't confirmed her appearance. The only public event on Palin's schedule for Saturday is 4 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.

“They’ve told me they want to do it,” said O’Neill, though he was quick to point out it isn’t set in stone.

One hiccup is Calvary Chapel Worship Center is hosting a fall fair starting at 11 a.m. at the park. Campaign officials told O’Neill they’re still working out a plan with the church. The church needs time to set up, too.

City police, Pasco sheriff's office and Secret Service officials are expected to finish plans on Thursday, said state Sen. Mike Fasano, who was among the opening speakers for Palin on Sunday in Tampa.

And there's a caveat: If the campaign decides Palin is needed elsewhere, the event is off, Fasano said.

-- David DeCamp and Jodie Tillman, Times staff writers

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:42pm]


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