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Obama expected to return to Fredericksburg.

 Candidate Barack Obama drew a crowd of 26,000 when he campaigned in Fredericksburg in September 2008.
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Date published: 10/8/2011


President Barack Obama will visit Fredericksburg this month part of his bus tour, according to a report from The Associated Press.

It will be one of four stops in Virginia. The others are expected to be Newport News, Charlottesville and Danville.

There have been unconfirmed reports that the president will be at the University of Mary Washington on Oct. 19.

University President Rick Hurley said that the school has been contacted by Obama's people and they are in discussions, but there are no definitive plans.

A White House official would confirm only that Obama will travel to Virginia and North Carolina for a three-day bus tour Oct. 17-19.

Obama campaigned at the city campus in September 2008 with running mate Joe Biden and drew a crowd of 26,000, according to a university police count.

The crowd converged on the Fredericksburg campus for a chance to see the pair.

About 12,000 people were able to pass through metal detectors to enter the barricaded rally area on the open lawn of Ball Circle.

Another 14,000 people waited in a line that snaked across campus and into city neighborhoods, and were not able to get in when the rally area reached capacity two hours before the speeches. Many stood outside the barricades in an attempt to hear the speeches.

The day started as hot and sunny, but two rainstorms descended upon Fredericksburg over the course of the day. Many waited five to eight hours to see the then-presidential and vice-presidential candidates speak.

Along with the Obama supporters, representatives from the American Life League, Christian Defense Coalition and Rock for Life held signs on campus walk with anti-abortion messages as people lined up for the rally.

A senior Democrat told The Associated Press that the four cities are part of Obama's pitch to voters in key battleground states to pressure congressional Republicans to approve his $447 billion economic revitalization bill.

Last month, Obama stopped at the University of Richmond on his national tour aimed at turning up pressure on House Republicans.

In the 2008 election, Obama won Virginia, the first Democrat to do so since 1964.

The president's stops include some areas with high-profile state legislative races. In Fredericksburg, he will be in the 17th Senate District, where Democratic Sen. Edd Houck is facing Republican Bryce Reeves.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413
Email: rsidersky@freelancestar.com