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We'll always have Bemidji: Santorum wistful about sweater vest maker in campaign wrapup

Bemidji Woolen Mills occupied a prominent spot in Rick Santorum's speech wrapping up his presidential campaign. Santorum reminisced about visiting the factory that produced so many of the vests worn by the candidate and his followers. For a time Santorum was giving a vest to any donor of $100 or more.
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Bemidji Woolen Mills occupied a prominent spot in Rick Santorum's speech wrapping up his presidential campaign. Santorum reminisced about visiting the factory that produced so many of the vests worn by the candidate and his followers. For a time Santorum was giving a vest to any donor of $100 or more.

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Made in Bemidji: Special edition Santorum sweater vests

The Bemidji Woolen Mills just shipped the first batch to South Carolina and will begin production on a thousand more this week. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum wore a blue sweater vest throughout much of his Iowa caucus campaign. After officially being declared the winner of Iowa last week, Santorum and his campaign staff are now calling the sweater vests a good luck charm. The Pioneer reports the former Pennsylvania Senator wanted to find an American manufacturer to produce special edition sweater vests and a member of his staff recommended the Bemidji Wollen Mills.

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Bill Batchelder's loyalty to Rick Santorum was dyed in the wool. Batchelder was the only one of 40 delegates representing Minnesota to cast a vote for Santorum (33 went to Ron Paul, six to Romney) at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday. Santorum visited Batchelder's sweater factory in Bemidji last February, a trip prompted by the former Pennsylvania senator’s fondness for Batchelder’s Bemidji Woolen Mills sweater vests.

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Rick Santorum's presidential campaign ordered 1,000 sweater vests from the Bemidji company and is giving them to anyone who donates $100. The company's owner says he's happy for the business but it's a little overwhelming. And he's never moved so many vests, which are usually a "back of the store" item.

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