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Kerry to visit USF again

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will make his second trip this year to the USF campus Friday. The announcement comes one day after the university’s College Democrats announced that filmmaker Michael Moore would be visiting the campus.

Moore’s visit was canceled when the Kerry appearance was scheduled, but John Duddy, president of the College Democrats, said talks were ongoing to reschedule Moore to Sunday.

Kerry, who will be at the USF Sun Dome at noon Friday, last visited the campus June 2. The senator will be on campus the day after the year’s first presidential debate in Coral Gables. Kerry’s opponent, President George W. Bush, will also be in the area, making a campaign stop in St. Petersburg at 2:20 p.m. Friday.

Former student body president Omar Khan said the candidates’ swarming to the area shows the importance of young voters.

“It has been predicted that there will be an increase in student involvement and student voting,” Khan said. “It says a lot that one of the first things (Bush and Kerry) are doing after the first televised presidential debate is coming to Tampa.”

Khan also said students have no reason not to be involved and vote this year.

“As we are the future, we have to take responsibility. Students have a lot to lose because … they’re going to have to deal with the consequences the longest,” he said. “There are no reasons not to care or have an opinion this year.”

Kerry and Bush will be the second and third presidential candidates to visit the Tampa Bay area this week, with Reform party candidate Ralph Nader coming to Tampa for a press conference today. Socialist Workers Party vice presidential nominee Arrin Hawkins will also be in town at his campaign headquarters on Fletcher Avenue on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Unlike Kerry’s June visit, this event will be open to the public. During his earlier stop, Kerry spoke to about 300 people on American defense against biological attacks that he called weak and unprepared.