One of the hottest topics during Mitt Romney’s rally on Friday was coal.
People in the crowd said not only does the topic hit home for them, it could also swing many votes in Southwest Virginia.
The Romney rally was full of signs saying ‘Coal country stands with Mitt,’ a sea of people wearing white coal hard hats, and banners in the sky that read ‘Virginia coal counts on Mitt Romney.’
"I grew up in Southwest Virginia. It's not what it used to be, but I think that's because they haven't been allowed to build the coal plants,” said Matthew Dingus, who attended the rally.
“We have hard working coal miners that are being treated like criminals by the EPA," said Republican delegate Israel O’Quinn from the 5th District of Virginia.
Many people said it’s not surprising Romney made the stop in an area that depends on coal. "He's very intelligent. That's what I'd talk about if I was him and I was running for president,” said Judy Venneman, who attended the rally.
The rally comes after hundreds of people lost their jobs recently in the coal industry. "Those people are suffering and they need help and hopefully he'll bring it to them,” Venneman added.
Congressman Morgan Griffith said only 67 percent of voters in the 9th Congressional District of Virginia cast a ballot in the last presidential election, which is why this rally is important in the swing state. "This election may very well depend on the 9th District of Virginia to turn this vote out,” he said.
There will be a rally in support of American coal jobs on Sunday, October 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Poplar Gap Park in Buchanan County, Virginia. The rally is hosted by the Eastern Coal Council, Federal for American Coal, Energy and Security, and Friends of Coal.