Three Republican presidential candidates are confirmed to appear at a Wisconsin primary kickoff event at the in Waukesha on Saturday.
Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will attend the event sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition that is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon. Ron Paul has also been invited to the event, along with Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and others.
Details on the event are still being worked out, according to organizers, and it's unknown whether the three presidential candidates will appear on the same stage together or make separate speeches.
The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.
Waukesha County could be a key part in the close primary race to select the candidate who will take on President Barack Obama in the fall.
“The primary is playing a significant role more than it ever has,” said Jesse Garza, Wisconsin director of operations for the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Waukesha County is being targeted, according to Garza, because of its high concentration of conservative voters and election turnout history. In the 2010 gubernatorial election, 71 percent of the ballots cast were for Walker, the Republican candidate.
Another sign of the importance of Waukesha County is that Santorum on Friday opened his .
Saturday’s event is “the last pitch for candidates in the area,” Garza said. “It is the reason why there is so much focus in that area (of the state)."
State Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) said the impact of Waukesha County is going to be “pretty substantial” on the presidential primary election because of its high concentration of conservative voters.
“It will really send a strong message to the state and the rest of the country on who is going to be the candidate for the Republicans against President Obama,” he said.