By SAM SCOTT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is making a campaign stop in Napa on Thursday, the second Republican candidate to visit Wine Country this month.
Two weeks ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry held receptions at wineries in Green Valley and in Healdsburg, where supporters paid $500 a plate for admission that included the chance for a private chat and photograph for a $2,500 donation.
Bachmann’s stop at the Napa Valley Country Club comes at a more affordable price — $100 for hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar and $250 for a photo and private moment with the candidate.
But like Perry, Bachmann is struggling to regain momentum lost following a strong start. After winning the Iowa Straw Poll in August, the Minnesota Congresswoman’s poll numbers have withered as businessman Herman Cain has ascended as Tea Party favorite.
Pam Silleman, coordinator of the Napa Tea Party, which is hosting the event, said that Cain has also indicated plans to visit Napa, though a date has yet to be set.
Claiming more than 3,000 members, the Napa Tea Party has emerged as a player in the Tea Party movement, she said. While voters in both Sonoma and Napa counties overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama in 2008, Silleman said there is a quiet core of conservatives in both areas who are increasingly flexing their political muscle.
The event with Bachmann is scheduled to go from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Earlier in the day, Bachmann will speak on “The Revival of American Competitiveness” at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.
Information about attending Thursday’s event in Napa is available at www.NapaTeaParty.com.