McCain ready to run
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, answers questions at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Summerville, S.C., Wednesday, April 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Alice Keeney)
John McCain (R)
Senator, AZ
Born: 08/29/1936
Birthplace: Panama Canal Zone
Home: Phoenix, AZ
Religion: Episcopalian
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PORTSMOUTH — Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain will make it official — in the state where he scored his biggest national triumph.

McCain of Arizona will land in Portsmouth on April 25 to officially launch his 2008 White House bid with the first stop in what the campaign is calling an official announcement tour.

After his appearance at Prescott Park, McCain, who upset then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush to win the 2000 New Hampshire primary, will hold another event that day in Manchester before traveling to South Carolina, Iowa and other early-primary states.

Jill Hazelbaker, the campaign's New Hampshire communications director, said McCain will talk about his commitment to winning the war in Iraq and other major issues facing the country.

She added that McCain was choosing New Hampshire to kick off the announcement tour because he wanted to show his support for the state's first-in-the-nation primary status.

Considered at the dawn of the 2008 campaign as a prohibitive front-runner, according to early state polls, McCain has been locked in a tight race with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Nationally, McCain has made a comeback, according to a recently released CNN poll that saw the former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and Vietnam War POW cut Giuliani's lead to six points.

The upcoming Portsmouth stop will be part of McCain's third major visit to the state in less than two months. In March, he brought his "Straight Talk Express" bus to Exeter to hold a town hall-style meeting.

Event details

What: Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will kick off his announcement tour with an appearance in Portsmouth.
When: Noon on April 25
Where: Prescott Park, public forum area, 105 Marcy Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Contact: For details about McCain's announcement event in Portsmouth, call his New Hampshire headquarters at 603-703-3499 or send an e-mail to