In the crowd at the McCain event

Greendale -- Among the officials in attendance at Repubican John McCain's town hall meeting: Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker; state GOP chairman Rience Priebus, state Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and state Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale).

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) is to participate in the event. Greendale is part of his district.

In a brief pre-event interview, Ryan predicted that McCain's focus on the state -- this is his second visit since the Feb. 19 primary -- will continue, with both parties putting more effort into the state than in either 2000 or 2004.

"I think it will be saturation in 2008," he said. "I think the candidates will practicaly be doing doors by the end."

Ryan also predicted Democratic efforts to link McCain to President George W. Bush will fall flat in the state.

"I don't think there's a lot of evidence for that, given that he is so clearly his own man," Ryan said. "He has his own reputation in the (U.S.) Senate. Everybody knows it. If you had a picture of an independent thinker in the Senate in the dictionary, it would be John McCain."

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