For The Tribune-Democrat
Raising a yellow “Don’t tread on me” flag and cheering from a rocky slope in Richland Township, some 25 Ron Paul supporters on Monday kicked off an election campaign that they say ultimately will extend throughout Cambria and Somerset counties.
The afternoon rally at the corner of Theatre Drive and Elton Road – called a “sign bomb” – was held to pique interest in the Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate, according to organizer Cliff Maloney.
“We want people to say, ‘Who is this guy?’ ” said Maloney, a Pitt-Johnstown student who spent the summer as an intern in Paul’s congressional office.
“The goal is to attract undecided voters and apathetic voters.”
The message to passers-by was simple: Remember Paul’s name and look him up online. Among placards reading “End the Fed” and “Legalize the Constitution” was a sign that said simply, “YouTube/Google Ron Paul.”
With voters focused on jobs and the economy, Maloney said Paul’s economically libertarian stances could hold appeal across both parties in the region.
Drivers greeted the rally with frequent honks and shouts of support.
“A few people have tried to pull over and learn more,” Maloney said.
While a few passing motorists hurled insults at the campaigners, spirits generally were high.
Bettie Dodson, a self-described Tea Partier from Belsano, dismissed Paul’s opponents despite his relatively low numbers in nationwide polling.
“Ron Paul delivers,” Dodson said. She said she happened upon the local movement by chance after Maloney spotted pro-Paul markings on her car.
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