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Todd Palin to make northern Minnesota swing

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Todd Palin, husband of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Republican John McCain's vice presidential running mate, will visit Bemidji on Thursday as part of a campaign swing.

Palin will visit Bemidji Woolen Mills' factory center in the Bemidji Industrial Park at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the McCain's St. Paul campaign office said Tuesday night.

"The Batchelder family is really honored to host such a visit," Bill Batchelder, a Bemidji Woolen Mills owner, said Tuesday night. Batchelder is a long-time Republican activist.

The Woolen Mills production center, run by Bill's brother, Bob, was the site of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's visit to Bemidji and rally in the weeks after he first took office in 2003.

Palin, an Alaskan commercial fisherman, is a championship snowmobiler, and will be accompanied by his racing partner, Scott Davis, who is a Grand Rapids native.

Palin's northern tour begins Thursday afternoon with a rally for U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman at Gander Mountain in Hermantown, moving to Timberlake Lodge Inn in Grand Rapids before reaching Bemidji.

On Friday, Palin will tour the Arctic Cat factory in Thief River Falls. Palin and Davis race for Arctic Cat. The northern swing ends Friday afternoon with a visit to Scheel's Sporting Goods store in Moorhead.