BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Buckingham County’s Jim Wilson might be GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s biggest fan. And this afternoon, Romney will return the love in the form of a new truck.
Wilson, a pipe-smoking 70-year-old Vietnam veteran who was recently profiled by The New York Times, has become a fixture on the campaign trail, traveling 40,000 miles to 150 Romney events in 15 states in his easily identifiable 1998 GMC pick-up festooned with Romney signs and American flags.
But last week, on his way home from a campaign stint in the Midwest, Wilson’s truck met its end, going out in a blaze of glory after catching fire in on a rural Pennsylvania highway.
This afternoon, at a Romney event in Sterling, Va., Romney himself will present Wilson a new means of transportation (and promotion) – a 2003 Chevy Silverado purchased by the campaign for just shy of $14,000.
“I feel guilty smoking in it. It’s so clean I felt I had to take my shoes off before getting in,” Wilson, a colorful character with a penchant for lewd humor, told the New York Times.
“Jim Wilson has campaigned for Gov. Romney since the primary, driving to nearly every event to help get Gov. Romney elected this November. He is a friend of the campaign, and we are happy to help him out,” said Amanda Henneberg, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign.