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ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — Mitt Romney’s will campaign in western North Carolina just before his running mate is scheduled to debate Vice President Joe Biden.

The Republican presidential nominee planned to hold a rally Thursday evening in Asheville’s civic center. He’ll be joined by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and country singer Ronnie Milsap, who is a Graham County native.

GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and Biden are scheduled to debate Thursday night in Danville, Ky.

North Carolina is one of handful of battleground states where both the campaigns of Romney and President Barack Obama are spending time and resources and lots of money on advertising. Obama narrowly won North Carolina’s electoral votes four years ago.

Romney last visited North Carolina in August for a Charlotte fundraiser.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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