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Bill Clinton to visit Rock Hill on Monday

Former President Bill Clinton is expected to visit downtown Rock Hill on Monday during a two-stop swing through South Carolina.

Clinton will headline an afternoon rally at the Freedom Center in support of his wife Hillary's presidential campaign. A capacity crowd of about 1,000 people is expected at the Family Life Center, said director Willie Lyles III.

A spokesman for the Clinton campaign could not confirm specifics Friday night, but said the trip is being finalized.

"We sent a letter maybe about a month ago for the senator to come," Lyles said. "Then I got a call from their scheduler asking me would it be OK to send a surrogate. And they send Bill."

No tickets are required at the event, which is open to the public, he said.

The Clinton campaign said the former president also will stop in Spartanburg as he stumps for his wife, who holds big leads over Democratic rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards in most national polls.

First time in city, but not in county

The former president has never been to Rock Hill, but he's spent a night in York County. In 1994, Clinton slept at the White Homestead in Fort Mill after watching his Arkansas Razorbacks play in the NCAA Final Four at the Charlotte Coliseum.

That year, Arkansas beat Duke to win the national title.

Rock Hill police are working with the Secret Service to coordinate security for Clinton's trip, said Capt. Charles Cabaniss.

The event marks the latest in a string of appearances in York County from some of the leading figures in the 2008 race. Among them: Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee and Democrats Obama, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden.

Edwards plans to lead a walk down Main Street at 3 p.m. Friday.

Yoork County ties

Hillary Clinton has collected more money from York County donors than any other presidential contender, records show. Through Sept. 24, she has taken in $11,615, ahead of second-place Edwards' total of $5,875.

Clinton's top donor is Crandall Bowles, the Springs Industries chairwoman and CEO who has given $4,600. Bowles' husband, Erskine, served as chief of staff in the Clinton White House.

Last week, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe visited Rock Hill to open a Clinton campaign headquarters on Oakland Avenue. The Freedom Center is next door.

"I think we can pack the place out," Lyles said. "It's Bill Clinton."

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