On the eve of the first presidential candidate debate, the man who was in Romney's shoes in 2008 visited Panama City.
Senator John McCain knows a thing or two about debating President Obama, but his focus on Tuesday was voter participation.
The Florida Panhandle went solidly for McCain back in '08, more than 80 percent in some counties.
The Romney campaign is hoping for a repeat from this area in November and Senator McCain was on deck to see that happens.
Greeted by cheers from the standing room only crowd, the excitement was palpable inside G Foleys restaurant
"I've been looking forward to this all week, matter of fact I had a car break down on me today and I didn't think I was going to make it and I got really upset," said Lynn Haven resident Joni James-Meyers.
"My husband was a Vietnam vet and he died from Agent Orange and he always had the utmost respect for John McCain," said Panama City Beach Resident, Beth Bullard.
Though most in attendance voted for McCain in '08, Tuesday, his message was simple: get out the vote for Mitt Romney on Election Day.
"I need you to spend some time every single day making sure that everyone you know, including your mother in law is registered to vote or is voting," said McCain.
It is a sentiment shared by many who want to see a change in White House leadership, including Florida Congressman, Steve Southerland.
"This is all hands on deck in Florida right now, so we need everybody to vote and everyone exercise the privilege that men like John McCain fought for," said Southerland.
The latest polls have Romney and President Obama statistically neck and neck.
According to McCain, this makes voter participation in swing states like Florida and areas like the Panhandle vitally important.
"I can guarantee you this: the most likely winner that takes Presidency of the United States will be the candidate that takes Florida," he said.
The deadline to register to vote is quickly approaching on October 9th.
Register to vote in your county: