First lady to visit Portland as legislators vote on redistricting

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PORTLAND — First lady Michelle Obama will be in town Friday to raise money for her husband’s presidential re-election campaign.

The fundraiser comes the same week the state Legislature is voting on a congressional redistricting plan that could have an impact on the 2012 presidential election.

The Maine Democratic Party said in a press release that Obama will be at a 1 p.m.  reception at the Ocean Gateway Terminal.

Tickets for the event range from $100 a person to $5,000. Maine Democratic Party Executive Director Mary Erin Casale said that’s a “reasonable price” for Mainers to hear the Obama.

“We’re almost sold out,” she said.

Obama, who has made military families and nutrition a centerpiece over the last three years, will be talking about the current political landscape and President Barack Obama’s vision for a second term in office.

Casale said Michelle Obama is also expected to attend a luncheon in Cape Elizabeth before the Portland reception.

Acting Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said his department is working with federal officials on security for the first lady. Sauschuck it was too soon to announce street closures or say whether there would be any significant traffic impact in the Old Port.

“That’s something that will be worked out,” he said.

City Hall spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said the event is not expected to disrupt a busy week of cruise ship traffic. Seven ships carrying more than 18,000 people are scheduled to visit Portland this week, she said.

Obama’s visit comes as the Legislature is redistricting the state. Maine is one of two states that awards electoral college votes according to popular votes in each congressional district.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @randybillings

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