Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle is attending First Lady Laura Bush’s campaign rally in Waterloo this (Thursday) afternoon and will be with President Bush in Le Mars late Friday afternoon.

“Certainly northwest Iowa is going to be key in this election,” Nussle says. “What we’re seeing is presidential-year excitement from our volunteers right now…We haven’t seen this kind of excitement and volunteer activity in an off-year election in quite some time and I think it’s going to make the difference.” About 25-hundred tickets have been handed out for the Le Mars rally.

“When you have an opportunity to have the president come in to talk about what’s important not only for our nation, but for our state, it’s an opportunity not only for me as a candidate but also for many of our volunteers who I know are excited to hear from the president and will be leaving the event pumped up and ready to work the last 72 hours of our program to turn out the vote,” Nussle says. Nussle is over two-thirds of the way through his quest this week to visit all of Iowa’s 99 counties.

Shortly after noon today, Nussle called Radio Iowa from the road. “Just finished with county number 78 on our 99-county bus tour across Iowa to make sure we get all the votes we need for election next Tuesday,” Nussle said. Traveling by bus is a great way to see the entire state, according to Nussle, who points out this is the third time this year he has set out to visit all 99 counties.