Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis is coming to Utah June 12, and the Republican nominee, Vice President George Bush, will likely arrive June 11.
Dukakis' Utah campaign said Wednesday that the Massachusetts governor definitely will appear before the U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual convention a week from this Sunday.When Utah Republican leaders heard about Dukakis' appearance, they got busy.
"We're fairly certain that the vice president will address our State Republican Convention next Saturday," said Craig Moody, state GOP chairman. "We're waiting for final confirmation, but we know he wants to appear in Utah, speak before Republicans, and will also address the mayors conference."
The annual mayors conference meeting is June 10-15 in Salt Lake City. While the main sessions start June 13, there are social events and early meetings starting Saturday, June 10. Traditionally, presidential candidates appear before the mayors convention in election years.
"Gov. Dukakis believes the West is important and important to his campaign," said a Utah aide. "I know he is excited about coming to Utah."
It was questionable whether Dukakis would come to the mayors conference this year. He wanted to take a family vacation after the California primary, June 7, and had slated the week of June 13-17 for such a rest.
"We're told he's going to take that vacation after his Utah visit. We're glad he decided to come here," said his aide.
Dukakis will arrive at 12:30 p.m. at Salt Lake International Airport, travel to the conference, in the Red Lion Inn, address the mayors and then hold a short reception. He'll leave Salt Lake City at 3:30 p.m.
Moody said Maureen Reagan, President Ronald Reagan's daughter, and Interior Secretary Donald Hodel are now scheduled as the keynote speakers during the state GOP convention, June 11.
"But we will make way for the vice president. He'll be our keynote speaker, if he can make it," Moody said.
Recent polls show Dukakis with a lead over Bush across the nation, and a slight lead in the West. The Reagan-Bush ticket carried the West solidly in 1984, and Bush will make a strong effort in the West this year, Moody said.
"What better way to show Utahns the difference between Dukakis and Bush than to have the vice president and the governor in the state a day apart. It would be great for us," Moody said.