Sen. Hillary Clinton plans campaign stop in Medford

Presidential contender Hillary Clinton will make a campaign stop in Medford in two weeks as she battles for the 52 delegates at stake in the May 20 primary in Oregon.

"We know she'll spend time here," said Talent resident Darby Stricker, a local volunteer coordinator for the Clinton campaign. "But we don't know what it's going to look like or where she's going to go."

An advance team is scouting locations for the New York senator's appearance in the Medford area during the week of April 6 that could also feature former President Bill Clinton and possibly their daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

"I've heard the Clintons are coming," said Stricker, who has also volunteered for the Clinton campaign in San Antonio, Texas.

In Oregon, polls show a preference for Sen. Barack Obama, who held a town hall rally in Medford last Saturday as part of a campaign sweep through the state.

Clinton and her family are expected to campaign throughout Oregon. Sen. John McCain, the apparent Republican nominee for president, also is expected to come to Oregon later in the year.

Ashland resident Milt Goldman, who is leading the Clinton campaign in Jackson County, said he is checking out both indoor and outdoor locations, including the Jackson County Expo in Central Point.

"I would like to see a venue that would have 5,000 or 6,000 people," he said.

Chris Borovansky, Expo director, said the Isola Arena could hold about 7,500 people under a huge canopy that would keep them dry if it rained.

He said there are other buildings at the Expo that could also house the event.

In the 2004 campaign, the Expo hosted rallies by President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic contender.

He said the new Lithia amphitheater could be used if the weather cooperates.

Goldman said the Clinton campaign is actively seeking offices in the county. Goldman said he's suggested some space in the Democratic headquarters in downtown Medford.

He said he is a Clinton supporter because she could not only win the race against McCain, but would bring a wealth of experience to the White House.

"I happen to think she does have the experience," he said.

Before Clinton's arrival in Medford, the campaign plans on holding six "house parties" in Jackson County Tuesday and Wednesday featuring political commentator and Democratic strategist Jehmu Greene as well as Lissa Muscatine, who was speech writer and spokeswoman for Clinton when she was first lady. Times and locations will be announced later. For more information, call the Democratic headquarters in Medford at 858-1050.

"They're the warm-up acts," said Stricker. "We'll have two days of surrogates here in Medford and in Ashland."

Bryan Platt, chairman of the Jackson County Republican Central Committee, said Clinton has some catching up to do in Oregon, but he doesn't think there is any lack of support for her in this county.

"The Clintons are formidable candidates," he said. "They'll do everything in their power to secure her nomination."

Platt said it's impressive that Clinton's team is working this far in advance to secure a location in Southern Oregon.

"It gives her a leg up in doing a No. — production," he said. "It's a smart move."

Platt said he's enjoyed standing on the sidelines watching the two Democratic contenders tear each other apart.

In Oregon, Platt said McCain has more appeal than President Bush in a state that normally tilts toward Democrats.

When Obama visited Southern Oregon, the Democratic Party reported that many Republicans had switched parties.

But Platt said, "We are getting calls from Democrats who want to know what it takes to change parties."

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