Republican presidential candidate John McCain campaigning in heavily Democratic west Alabama is as rare a sight as an elephant in a cotton field.
Gov. Bob Riley, a fellow Republican, said he believes McCain will attract some black voters. He joined the Arizona senator for a rare GOP presidential campaign swing through rural west Alabama.
McCain chose to kick off his week-long "It's Time for Action" tour in the region known and named for its black soil. The region is two-thirds black and struggles with high unemployment and a declining population.
McCain also visited Camden, Gee's Bend and Thomasville. A supporter, 81-year-old Frances Smith of Selma, said she could never recall a Republican presidential candidate taking time to visit the region.
His itinerary included two fundraisers Monday night in the Birmingham area.