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Mitt Romney to visit Billy Graham Thursday

2:23 PM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
Billy Graham
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Article by Asheville Citizen-Times staff

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was scheduled to visit Rev. Billy Graham in Montreat Thursday afternoon, swinging through Black Mountain on the way, Black Mountain Town Manager Matt Settlemyer said.

Romney is set to speak in Asheville at a 5:30 p.m. campaign stop at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Settlemyer said Town officials were told about the visit, which has not been announced to the public, by the Secret Service and N.C. Highway Patrol.

Romney has no plans to stop in Black Mountain during the visit with Graham, though Town police and firefighters will block roads briefly on the candidate's way in and way out to Montreat.

N.C. 9 from Interstate 40 and Montreat Road to Montreat will be the path of travel and traffic should be disrupted for only about five minutes as Romney comes in and leaves, Settlemyer said.

"Police and firefighters should be setting up at about 2 p.m. at the earliest," he said. "He could come through after 3 p.m. And he'll be gone by 5 p.m., before rush-hour traffic."

Asked about the visit, officials with Graham's ministry referred phone calls to spokeswoman Jessica Toews with the DeMoss Group, an Atlanta public relations firm. Toews said she had no information on the visit.

Graham, a renowned and now aged protestant minister, has met with candidates and presidents for decades, both in the White House and when they have visited Asheville.

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