Charleston, West Virginia (CNN) – Sarah Palin's making a last minute stop in West Virginia Saturday to try and help the GOP win back a Senate seat that's been in the Democrats' hands for over half a century.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, along with her husband Todd, will team up at a rally at a riverfront park in Charleston with businessman John Raese, the GOP's Senate nominee, according to an announcement from the Raese campaign late Friday night.
Raese faces off next week against popular two-term Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin. The winner of the special election in November will fill out the final two years of the term of Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who died earlier this year. Byrd was first elected to the Senate in 1958.
The most recent polls indicate the race is neck and neck, and top non-partisan political handicappers describe the contest as a toss-up. The tone of the campaign has turned very negative the past few weeks.
The rally was originally going to be headlined by Ted Nugent, the rock star and conservative activist who has been outspoken in his criticism of President Barack Obama. Nugent will still be featured at the rally.
Palin joins a list of top name surrogates who have, or will, team up with Raese. Sen. John McCain, the GOP's last presidential nominee, joined Raese in West Virginia earlier this week, and former New York City Mayor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to campaign with Raese in the state on Monday, the day before the midterm elections.
"We invited her because she and John Raese share the belief that Washington is in desperate need of new, independent voices and West Virginians of all political persuasions have great respect and admiration for Sarah Palin," Raese campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin told CNN.
Former President Bill Clinton came to West Virginia to campaign with Manchin earlier this month.
- CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report
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