Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will speak this morning in Cedarburg, after accepting the Republican Party’s nomination just last night.

“This is the first stop of the general election as the official nominee,” said Kirsten Kukowski, communications director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “This shows how important Wisconsin voters are to this election and is an opportunity for them to come and talk directly to Wisconsin about what this ticket can do for Wisconsinites.”

The rally will take place at the corner of Washington Avenue and Columbia Road, the main intersection in downtown Cedarburg. The event is open to the public, though reservations are highly encouraged.

Around 11:00 a.m., McCain is scheduled to make his first speech as the official Republican presidential candidate with vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, by his side.

The rally begins at 10:30 a.m., with a speech from Cedarburg Mayor Gregory Myers. According to Christy Mertes, City Administrator for Cedarburg, there may also be a ceremony to recognize three local Marines who returned home from Iraq recently.

Also expected to attend are potential first lady Cindy McCain and Palin’s husband, Todd. They were expected to leave St. Paul Thursday after the convention and arrive in Milwaukee Friday, according to Kukowski.

The Cedarburg police are also stepping up to address some security concerns for the presidential hopeful.

Cedarburg Police Captain Glenn Lindberg said there will be a three-block area fenced off with metal detectors and police at each of the entrances.

“We’re working closely with the secret service department,” Lindberg said. “We’re reinforcing their staff and doing what we can to help. We’re hoping for a quiet day.”

Lindberg said he expects about 5,000 people to attend the event. The last major presidential candidate to visit Cedarburg was President Ronald Reagan.

Cedarburg is located in Ozaukee County, a county President George Bush won by 17,200 votes in the 2004 election. Overall, Kerry won the state, but only by .38 percent — the smallest margin of any state in the 2004 election.