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Palin hot ticket in Cape Coral

By Staff | Oct 4, 2008

People lined up for tickets to see Sarah Palin, John McCain’s VP runningmate, in front of the newly opened Cape Coral McCain/Palin Victory Campaign Office as early as 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Palin was originally slated to speak at the Alico Arena in Fort Myers, but the venue was changed to Germain Arena, with seating for 7,000-8,000 people, Monday at 3 p.m.

Katie Gordon, a spokesperson for the Florida Republican Party, said the switch to Germain Arena came “due to an overwhelming response…”

The Fort Myers office, located at 7250 College Parkway, ran out early in the day, and volunteers in Cape Coral said they were likely to run out of the roughly 600 tickets that were available Friday morning.

“Excited would be an understatement,” said a volunteer about the attitudes of those picking up tickets.

The volunteer, who asked not to be identified by name, said the Cape office, located at 2002 Del Prado Boulevard S., unit 103, had already given out at least half of the tickets by 10:30 a.m. Each registered voter was allowed four tickets.

Ticket distributors, including the Fort Myers and Cape Coral campaign offices, were later replenished with tickets; about 6,000 additional tickets were printed, according to a campaign spokesperson. It is unclear how many tickets were printed initially. The tickets are available at those locations on a first-come first-serve basis.

Long Island native Michael Fleming, who currently lives in Fort Myers, said he made the extra trek across the bridge after the Fort Myers campaign office ran out of tickets.

“Palin intrigues me,” Fleming said. “I think she handled herself very well (during Thursday night’s vice presidential debate). I think the cynics aren’t giving her enough credit.”

Fleming took two tickets, for himself and his wife.

Kara Wilkins, a Cape Coral resident, will take her father to see Palin.

“She’s new, she’s exciting, she brings a breath of fresh air,” Wilkins said of Palin.

Wilkins said she and her father are supporters of John McCain.

“I think John McCain knows what he’s doing,” she said.

Gilbert Villaverde was excited at the chance to see Palin. Villaverde moved to America from his home country of Cuba when he was 12 years old.

“I think that she’s awesome,” he said. “I think she did an awesome job (during Thursday’s debate). I agree with everything that she’s for. Washington needs fixing; she and McCain can do that.”

Palin will also visit Clearwater Monday, and Jacksonville and Pensacola Tuesday, according to the Republican Party of Florida.