Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ron Paul Supporters Set Sights Down Ballot

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ron Paul Supporters Set Sights Down Ballot

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Armed with an inherited fortune and a devotion to Ron Paul, John Ramsey, a 21-year-old college student from Nacogdoches, Texas, plunged into a little-watched Republican House primary in Northern Kentucky this spring to promote his version of freedom.

More than $560,000 later, Mr. Ramsey's chosen standard-bearer, Thomas H. Massie, a Republican, cruised to victory Tuesday night in the race to select a successor to Rep. Geoff Davis, a Republican who is retiring.

The saturation advertising campaign waged by Mr. Ramsey's super PAC, Liberty for All, may be the most visible manifestation of a phenomenon catching the attention of Republicans from Maine to Nevada.

With their favorite having lost the nomination for president, Mr. Paul's dedicated band of youthful supporters are setting their sights down ballot and swarming lightly guarded Republican redoubts like state party conventions in an attempt to infiltrate the top echelons of the party.

"Karl Rove's fear-and-smear-style Republicans are going to wake up at the end of the year and realize we are now in control of the Republican Party," said Preston Bates, a Democrat-turned-Paulite who is running Liberty for All for Mr. Ramsey.

In Minnesota, Paulites stormed the Republican gathering in St. Cloud last weekend, bumping aside two conventional Republican candidates to choose one of their own, Kurt P. Bills, a high school economics teacher, to challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, this fall.

Backers of Mr. Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas, crashed Republican conventions in Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Nevada in recent weeks, snatching the lion's share of delegate slots for the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August, a potential headache for the national party and its presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney.

And Paulite candidates for Congress are sprouting up from Florida to Virginia to Colorado, challenging sitting Republicans and preaching the gospel of radically smaller government, an end to the Federal Reserve, restraints on Bush-era anti-terrorism laws and a pullback from foreign military adventures. …

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