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Last-minute Santorum, Paul, Romney rallies expected

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Feb. 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm with No Comments »
February 28, 2012 2:49 pm

State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur says presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are coming back to Washington this week for one last push before Saturday’s GOP caucuses.

And Mitt Romney, who will be in Bellevue Thursday for a long-planned fundraiser, is committed to having a public event at a time to be announced, Wilbur said.

Santorum plans two rallies Thursday in eastern Washington, while Paul comes to Seattle Friday, Wilbur said. There were no details yet on times and places.

The March visits follow February appearances by Santorum, Paul and Newt Gingrich and point out the potential importance of Washington’s caucuses, the last nominating contest before Super Tuesday.

Wilbur said he wouldn’t be surprised to see 50,000 to 60,000 people show up to the Republican caucuses, far exceeding the fewer than 14,000 who attended in 2008 when John McCain was moving toward sewing up the nomination.

He said the increased interest is probably because of the candidate visits and the more competitive race, plus greater publicity in the news media and the cancellation of the presidential primary election that is usually held in addition to the caucuses.

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