Mitt Romney arrives to speak to an overflow crowd of supporters as he campaigns… (Charles Dharapak / Associated…)
CELINA, Ohio — As East Coasters prepared Sunday for the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is avoiding states impacted by the storm and has stopped fundraising emails there.
“Our officials in headquarters are staying in touch with officials in the states and they’re making ongoing assessments about the schedule,” said Kevin Madden, a senior advisor. “We have shifted our schedule the last few days to states that aren’t directly impacted by the storm, and we’ll continue to monitor that to see what kind of scheduling updates we need to make over the next few days."
PHOTOS: Hurricane Sandy, en route to "Frankenstorm"
Romney was supposed to be in Virginia on Sunday but canceled his events there as the area braces for the storm. Monday events in New Hampshire featuring Ann Romney and a Tuesday event in Virginia headlined by running mate Paul Ryan have also been canceled. Campaign staffers in Virginia are collecting supplies for storm-relief centers. Fundraising solicitations have been halted in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina.
Officials at the campaign headquarters in Boston are monitoring whether their operation will be affected, and staffers traveling with Romney are worried about their homes and families. Madden’s wife and young children remain at their Washington, D.C., house, which Madden spent part of the weekend weatherizing before rejoining Romney on the trail Sunday.
At a rally at a basketball fieldhouse here, Ryan urged the crowd to pray for the safety of those affected by the storm, which is expected to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday.
“Look, first let me start on a slightly different note. Let's today when we get home put in our prayers the people who are in the East Coast in the wake of this big storm that’s coming,” he said. “Let's not forget those fellow Americans of ours.”
INTERACTIVE: Battleground states map
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Times staff writer Alana Semuels contributed to this report.