Paul’s Vancouver rally part of busy day on Northwest tour

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

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Ron Paul’s visit to Vancouver on Thursday will be one of several stops he’ll make on his Northwest campaign tour.

The Republican presidential hopeful will speak at the Vancouver Convention Center at 4 p.m. Thursday during a political rally that opens to the public at 3 p.m. The convention center is at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St.

Paul, a Congressman from Texas and a libertarian, advocates for limited, constitutional government. He is running against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

Paul will be jetting to Vancouver from Twin Falls, Idaho, where he’ll host a similar event at noon.

After he concludes his speech at about 5 p.m. in Vancouver, he’ll head up to a rally near the Sea-Tac Airport. On Friday, he’ll be on the eastern side of the state in the Tri-Cities, and more stops could still be announced, according to his campaign.

Paul appears to have a strong local base. In April 2008, Paul’s highly organized supporters swamped the Clark County Republican Convention, winning 71 of 89 delegate seats to the state convention.

In the 2008 race, two of three delegates and two of three alternates to the national convention from Southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District pledged to Paul. Arizona Sen. John McCain won the party’s nomination.

Paul’s political rivals also have their sights set on Washington state. Santorum was in Tacoma on Monday and Romney plans to visit Seattle on March 1. Republican precinct caucuses in the state take place March 3.

Paul’s Vancouver rally on Thursday is a free event.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or www.twitter.com/col_politics