BEALLSVILLE - Presumed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visits southeast Ohio today, and his first stop is at the Century Mine in Beallsville to meet with coal miners and their families.
The event begins at 12:30 p.m., said Chris Maloney, spokesman for the Romney campaign in Ohio. The event is closed to the general public.
Among those invited to attend are miners, their families, elected officials and local civic leaders, he noted.
The Century Mine is an operation belonging to Murray Energy, owned by Robert E. Murray.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel is to introduce Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who also serves as chairman of the Romney campaign in Ohio. Portman then will introduce Romney, Maloney said.
Romney is to make a short speech, then meet and speak with those in attendance.
After leaving Beallsville, Romney is scheduled to move on to two public events. At 2:30 p.m., he is to be at Tom's Ice Cream Bowl in Zanesville, Ohio; and at 6 p.m. at the Ross County courthouse in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Portman had been on Romney's short-list of potential vice presidential running mates, but Saturday Romney announced Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would join the ticket. Ryan is not expected to join the campaign's tour today in Ohio.
Today will mark Romney's second visit to the Ohio Valley this year. On May 3, Murray hosted a private fundraiser for him at Wheeling Park's White Palace.
In recent months, Murray Energy has laid off 29 employees at the Powhatan No. 6 mine and 56 at the Red Bird West mine in Brilliant, which is being closed. Murray has attributed the job losses to stricter environmental regulations imposed by the Obama administration that Murray said affected the company's bottom line.