UPDATE: Ron Paul to visit Clark County again Friday

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor



Presidential hopeful Ron Paul will visit the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds on Friday, making this his second stop in Vancouver in just over two weeks.

Paul is tentatively expected to speak at 4 p.m. Friday during a town hall meeting, which will allow questions from the audience, regional campaign director Katja Delavar said Tuesday. Tentatively, doors to the event will open at 3 p.m. and the event will begin at 3:30 p.m.

The Republican candidate with a strong libertarian philosophy spoke Feb. 16 before a crowd of more than 1,500 people in the ballroom of the Hilton Vancouver Washington. He did not take questions from the audience, but he spent several minutes after his hourlong speech shaking hands and chatting with members of the public.

Paul’s second Clark County visit this year takes place on the eve of Washington’s Republican precinct caucuses, which kick off 9 a.m. Saturday.

Caucus organizers are expecting a larger than normal turnout because a GOP nominee hasn’t been picked yet, and because Washington will not have a primary election this year. The state suspended its 2012 primary to save money.

Paul is a 12th-term U.S. House member from Texas. He is competing for the Republican presidential nomination along with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. Romney is often referred to as the presumptive GOP nominee, but Santorum is leading in some recent polls.

All four of the Republican candidates have made campaign stops in Washington state, but Paul is the only one to stop in Vancouver so far. Romney’s son Josh Romney visited Vancouver on Feb. 20.

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.

More details about the Republican precinct caucuses will be published in The Columbian later this week.