President Bush speaks to a large crowd at Georgia Southern University. (WTOC photo)
October 30, 2006 from WTOC and the AP
Statesboro, Georgia -- History will be made today in Statesboro, Georgia. For the first time, a sitting president will pay a visit to the city.
President George W. Bush has arrived at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah en route to a rally at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro late this morning. He's expected to speak in support of former Republican congressman Max Burns. Burns lost his 12th District seat two years ago to Democrat John Barrow and he's hoping to get it back.
Word of the president's visit has Statesboro residents excited. "I think the president is doing a great job," Mary Ann Lisenbee said. "Of course there's many that wouldn't agree with me. This is a difficult time and I think he's doing the very best he can or that anyone else could do."
Many students are also pitching in to support Burns' campaign. Students with the GSU College Republicans worked hard over the weekend, making posters showing their support for the president and Max Burns.
"I'm hoping it will help Max Burns win and the Republican party get their message out there, get Max's message out there, and it will help the community," said GSU student Jesse Tyler.
Tomorrow the president will visit Perry in middle Georgia to stump for another former GOP congressman, Mac Collins. The back-to-back campaign trips a week before the November seventh elections highlight two Georgia races Republicans see among their best shots at upsetting incumbent Democrats in the House.
The 57-year-old Burns of Sylvania faces a rematch with Democratic Representative John Barrow, who defeated Burns in 2004 in eastern Georgia's 12th District. Collins hopes to unseat Democratic Representative Jim Marshall in the Eighth District.
The 12th District now covers 22 counties in eastern Georgia, including large portions of Augusta, Savannah and Milledgeville.