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Local Man Speaks of Ties to McCain's Running Mate

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is scheduled to take the stage Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Senator John McCain has spent the past several days defending his choice of Palin for a running mate, downplaying an ongoing investigation of her office and rebutting claims that she was once associated with the Alaskan Independence Party.

But one local man is able to look beyond the headlines: he remembers Palin from back in the days when she was a small-town mayor. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.

Reggie MacElhannon is Chief of Staff for Missouri state senator Norma Champion.

He says his parents moved to Alaska when he was one year old, and that his father was a friend of Sarah Palin's when she was a small-town mayor. MacElhannon lived in Palin's town and recalls seeing her in church. She made a house visit to his parents' home and MacElhannon describes her as "gracious."

He says he was surprised she was selected to be John McCain's running mate, only because she was not one of the top contenders "vetted" for the position. However, he says he is extremely pleased and is confident she will do the job well.