By Rachel Streitfeld and Ashley Killough, CNN
Pensacola, Florida (CNN) — Mitt Romney will cancel his scheduled campaign events in Virginia on Sunday as a major storm nears the U.S. East Coast, campaign spokesman Rick Gorka said Saturday.
Instead the Republican presidential nominee will head to Ohio, another crucial battleground, and join his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, on a previously scheduled bus tour.
Romney’s campaign on Friday had already nixed a Sunday evening event in Virginia Beach due to news of Hurricane Sandy’s potential trajectory. However, the campaign further scrubbed its plans and decided to cross off events in Haymarket and Richmond.
The events were canceled as “a cautionary move so resources would not be diverted” in the state, according to Gorka.
“The campaign has been in contact with Governor McDonnell and his staff,” Gorka said.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is slated to travel to Orlando, Florida.
The Category 1 storm moved slowly off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, having left at least 45 dead in its wake in the Caribbean and Central America.
It is expected to begin seriously affecting heavily populated coastal areas in the East as early as Sunday.
— CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.