Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is coming to Northern Virginia to pitch his economic plan next month, wooing voters in a state that may be irrelevant by the time its Republican primary rolls around.
Romney will be at the Hyatt Regency Reston Feb. 10 to headline a breakfast event sponsored by the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Consumer Electronics Association. The gathering is part of the two groups’ “Presidential Series,” which kicked off in November with an appearance by then-GOP candidate Herman Cain. They have invited other Republican contenders and President Obama to appear in the future.
Virginia’s presidential primary is March 6, and it’s not clear how important the state ultimately will be in picking the Republican nominee. Romney is widely considered the frontrunner in the contest, as a new Washington Post-ABC News national poll gives him a 2 to 1 advantage over his closest rivals.
If Virginia does end up being pivotal, Romney is in a strong position to take advantage. He and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) are the only two candidates to have submitted the necessary number of valid signatures to appear on the primary ballot.
Last week, a federal judge denied an effort by four other Republican candidates to get on the Virginia ballot. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is appealing that decision.
Romney can be expected to visit Virginia often if he wins the nomination. The state is one of a handful identified by both parties as clear battleground territory in Obama’s reelection race.