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Ron Paul Builds Momentum in South Dakota

May 21, 2012 - 6:00pm

While he has scaled back operations, essentially conceding the Republican presidential nomination to former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas still has an upcoming primary state that he can build in -- South Dakota.

Paul announced earlier in the month that he would focus his campaigns efforts on picking up delegates through the state convention process instead of focusing on upcoming primaries. But his supporters continue their enthusiasm for Paul in South Dakota which holds its primary on June 5. Four other states -- California, Montana, New Jersey and New Mexico -- also hold primaries on that date. South Dakota will have 28 delegates when the Republicans hold their convention in Tampa come August.

Despite Paul saying he would not focus on upcoming contests, supporters continue to flock to his banner. Over the weekend, Paul was endorsed by Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, the youngest member of the South Dakota Legislature.

Ron Pauls consistency and integrity goes unmatched in todays political environment, Hansen said. As a state representative in South Dakota, I know Ron Paul understands the proper role of the federal government, and will restore the proper constitutional balance of power between Washington, the states, and the people.

I truly believe Ron Paul has the heart of a servant, looking to the best interest of all Americans rather than to his own self-interest, Hansen added. To restore our country to its constitutional foundation, promote life, support the free market, fix our monetary system, and end war, we must elect Ron Paul for president in 2012.

Nor was Hansen the only South Dakota officeholder to back Paul in recent days. On Tuesday, Jordan Mason from the City Council of Rapid City announced he was backing the Texas congressman.

I stand for strong fiscal policy, Mason said. I stand for solving our problems at home before we try to solve other countries problems abroad. I stand for liberty and I stand for the American dream. And so I stand behind Ron Paul.

Paul continues to add to his delegate count at the state conventions -- but he is far behind Mitt Romney who is expected to be nominated in Tampa. Still, there have been some successes for the Paul camp, including winning 12 of 13 delegates on the line at a convention in Minnesota last weekend which the candidate attended. The other delegate went to a favorite daughter of the North Star State -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann who pulled out of the race in early January after a weak showing in the Iowa caucus.

Paul has also added delegates at conventions in Michigan, Vermont and Virginia in May.

Victories in Minnesota and other states demonstrate that Ron Paul supporters possess the adaptability, organizational muscle, and unmatched enthusiasm required to continue winning delegates in upcoming contests, said John Tate, Pauls campaign manager. Were also pleased to see Ron Paul supporters engaged in party-building to broaden the activist and voting base that will advance Republican majorities for many years to come."

Reach Kevin Derby at or at (850) 727-0859.

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