John Kerry will visit Reno Friday |

John Kerry will visit Reno Friday

Associated Press

RENO – Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will campaign here Friday – his first visit to northern Nevada after five stops in Las Vegas, the biggest city in this battleground state.

The Kerry-Edwards campaign said Monday that Kerry will speak at the Lawlor Events Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno – the same center that filmmaker Michael Moore filled with nearly 10,000 people for his anti-Bush Slacker Uprising Tour last week.

“We have seen throughout this campaign that northern Nevada supports John Kerry,” Nevada campaign spokesman Sean Smith said. “John Kerry is ready to show northern Nevada that he supports them.”

Nevada is receiving unprecedented attention from the candidates as recent polls show the race about even for the state’s five electoral votes. Voter registration is almost evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans.

President Bush and Kerry also were in Nevada last week. Kerry went to Las Vegas while Bush gave stump speeches Thursday in both Vegas and Reno. In all five of his visits so far, Kerry has talked with the local press. Bush, with a total of four stops this year, hasn’t met with local reporters.

Besides national issues, Kerry is likely to talk about Bush’s environmental record – which includes support for a national nuclear waste dump at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Kerry has promised to block the unpopular project.

Other Nevada issues that could come up on Friday include a voter fraud controversy allegedly involving a Republican-funded group and a state ballot question aimed at raising the minimum wage – an idea that Kerry favors.

Free tickets for Kerry’s speech Friday can be picked up at the Lawlor ticket office, the UNR Jot Travis Student Union or the Northern Nevada Democratic Headquarters in Reno. They also can be printed off of the Internet.