Cheney Visits Grand Junction

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Vice President Dick Cheney visited Grand Junction Friday to attend a private fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer.

Air Force Two landed at Grand Junction Regional Airport just after 11:00 Friday morning, marking the first time since 2004 that the Vice President visited the Western Slope.

"This is one of life's memories," said Duncan McArthur, Mesa County Republican Treasurer. "You have the ability to meet the Vice President, to see him in person, and to hear him first hand."

It's a memory that McArhthur and many more in the Grand Valley won't soon forget. During a private fundraiser in Grand Junction Friday morning, Vice President Cheney addressed a crowd of more than 350 people, expressing his support for U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer.

Attendees describe the event as a fantastic and humbling experience.

"I was very enjoyable," said McArthur. "Everybody was happy."

But perhaps none were as happy as the man the Vice President came to endorse.

"Having the Vice President of the United States of America here in Grand Junction is a great boost to all of us who care about Western Slope issues," said Bob Schaffer.

The Vice President and his wife spent about two hours speaking to the crowds and taking pictures with supporters. For those lucky few willing to shell out $5,000 he even met with them personally. The event was all in the name of a race and campaign that has caught the attention of many.

"It's probably the most important race in the state of Colorado this year," said McArthur.

Scaffer is running against U.S. Representative Mark Udall for the seat currently held by retiring Senator Wayne Allard. Schaffer says a lot is at stake in this race and that he hopes to help Republicans make up ground on the slim lead the Democrats have in the U.S. Senate.

"The Vice President's visit I think signals the importance of the Western Slope economically, the importance of the Western Slope from the perspective of national leadership, and from the context of this campaign," said Schaffer.

After the event was over, it was back on Air Force Two and off two another event for Cheney. But Schaffer says what the Vice President leaves behind in Colorado is a huge boost that he hopes can carry him to victory in November.

"We just saw a great show and display of enthusiasm," said Schaffer.

Local Republican leaders say they had hoped to raise $100,000 during the fundraiser. They say they believe they have far exceeded that goal.

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