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Cheney to speak at Republican state convention

Apr 15, 2012 The Associated Press

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney has received last-minute medical clearance to return to his home state and speak at the Wyoming Republican state convention in Cheyenne on Saturday.

The speech will be Cheney's first public engagement since he received a heart transplant three weeks ago, state GOP Chairwoman Tammy Hooper said Friday.

Cheney had been scheduled to speak at the convention, but the transplant surgery canceled those plans.

The operation took place in Virginia on March 24, and it didn't look like Cheney would be able to travel for some time.

Cheney now is back on to speak at a noon lunch.

"I'm ecstatic," Hooper said. "I'm absolutely thrilled and the Republican Party is very honored that he is going to make this special trip for us."

Cheney, 71, spent almost two years waiting for a new heart. He has a long history of heart disease including five heart attacks.

Cheney's daughter, Liz Cheney, is scheduled to give the keynote speech Saturday.

Just about every other Wyoming Republican of note will be there, too. Gov. Matt Mead, Wyoming's all-Republican congressional delegation, and the state's other top elected officials all are scheduled to address the convention.

Convention participants will choose 14 of Wyoming's 29 delegates to this summer's Republican National Convention.

Voting at county caucuses last month allotted eight delegates to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who became the presumptive presidential nominee after former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum suspended his campaign this week. Two other Wyoming delegates have gone to Santorum, one to Texas Rep. Ron Paul and one is uncommitted.

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