Howard Dean supporters in central Missouri will finally get to rally for their candidate as the Vermont Governor will make a brief appearance in the St. Louis area today.
Mid-Missouri Dean campaign organizers said about 22 volunteers from Columbia and Jefferson City will attend a 2:30 p.m. town hall meeting at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Dean will participate in the event.
Dean’s appearance before next Tuesday’s Missouri presidential primary has encouraged local campaign volunteers. Many volunteers said they felt they needed to hear directly from Dean after his unexpected losses in Iowa and New Hampshire.
“A lot of us thought he’d be here earlier, but we’re actually very pleased that he’s here now,” said Josh Sewell, 22, a volunteer with the campaign since last September. “After Iowa, a lot of people were disgruntled and perplexed as to what would happen with the campaign.”
On Wednesday, Joe Trippi, Dean’s national campaign manager who was often credited for Dean’s successful grass-roots organizing and use of the Internet, resigned. Roy Neel, who was a campaign adviser to former Vice President Al Gore, replaced Trippi.
Bob Berlin, Dean’s campaign leader for central Missouri, said Trippi’s departure, while unfortunate, hasn’t hurt morale.
“Joe Trippi did an amazing job, but we need somebody to take the ball into the end zone,” Berlin said.