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Romney Visit Brings Political Focus to Maryland

The southwestern Baltimore County suburb of Arbutus is ideal for Romney's only visit to the state before the April 3 primary, a political leader says.

Fresh from his March 20 victory in the Illinois primary, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney headed today to Arbutus for a town hall forum at the Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109.

Romney is the first Republican presidential candidate in 2012 to visit the state in advance of the April 3 Maryland primary.

His presence underscores the importance of the primary, which offers GOP candidates the chance to win 37 delegates in a political year when every state counts. A win in Maryland might avoid a brokered Republican national convention with former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA.

Initial reports indicated that Romney would make three visits in Maryland, including a morning stop in Annapolis, the 3:30 p.m. town hall in Arbutus and an early evening event in Frederick, MD.

Chris Cavey, a member of the Maryland for Romney steering committee, said that the schedule that had been released was tentative, and the visits to Annapolis and Frederick were never finalized.

Cavey said that Arbutus is an ideal location for a pivotal appearance by Romney.

"Arbutus is a good spot-not far from BWI airport, near I-95 and the Beltway," he said. "It's easy to get to. Logistically, it's a great place to be. It's a bonus that it's where Gov. Ehrlich hails from."

Native son Robert Ehrlich, also a Republican, served as governor from 2003-2007 and ran unsuccessfully against Gov. Martin O'Malley in 2010.

Former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spoke before a crowd of more than 400 at the Dewey Lowman post in February of 2008 during the last presidential primary.

"Arbutus has had two Republican primary candidates visit--McCain last cycle and Romney during this cycle," Cavey said. "Not a lot of places can say that.."

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