Hundreds of Thompson and Paul Supporters to Attend Straw Poll

Senator Brownback's campaign commits to event

Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 357-1673
Chris Panos (843) 267-0045

GEORGETOWN--Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Tom Swatzel announced today that the presidential campaign of Congressman Ron Paul-TX will bring 300 supporters to the party's presidential primary straw poll on Saturday and that supporters of Senator Fred Thompson had made a bulk purchase of 100 tickets.

Swatzel said that Chris Panos with the Paul campaign confirmed that they were bringing in 300 supporters from across the state, including a car caravan from the Greenville-Spartanburg area and a campaign bus/RV that will arrive in Pawleys Island on Friday night.

According to Swatzel identified supporters of Thompson made a bulk purchase of 100 event tickets several days ago.

"These campaigns and supporters are getting very serious about winning our straw poll. I anticipate more campaigns becoming involved and am cautiously optimistic that we will have a large turn out for the event," Swatzel said.

Jim Corbett, state campaign director with Senator Sam Brownback's campaign confirmed with Swatzel today that the campaign will participate in the straw poll with a yet to be named representative.

"We are pleased that Senator Brownback will be represented at the event. I'm sure many of his supporters will be there to cast their votes for him," Swatzel said

Mike Dixon, the state chairman for Duncan Hunter's campaign, informed Swatzel yesterday that the congressman will now be represented at the event by Van Hipp, a former deputy assistant secretary of the Army, who is also a former chairman of the state Republican Party.

Senator Fred Thompson's committee has committed to the straw poll and will have upstate Congressman Gresham Barrett represent the Senator. The representative for Ron Paul is yet to be determined. Presidential candidate Daniel Gilbert has also announced that he will attend the event. Discussions are ongoing with the other campaigns and Swatzel says he will have additional announcements soon.

All eleven of the active presidential candidates recognized on the state Republican Party web site- plus Thompson, who is expected to formally announce his candidacy soon- have been invited to the event, which will be held in the Waccamaw High School auditorium in Pawleys Island.

The event will start at 11 a.m. with a barbeque lunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. Candidates or their representatives will begin speaking at 12:30 p.m. and will be allowed up to 10 minutes each. It is anticipated voting will be conducted at about 3 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by local musician Don Thomas.

Tickets to participate in the straw poll event are $10 and include the barbeque lunch. Straw poll voters must be at least 18 years old by November 2008 and have a South Carolina driver's license. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or at Pawleys Island Supply, 10460 Ocean Highway in Pawleys Island; the Offices of David Hood, 407 Church Street in Georgetown; or Capt. Dick's Marina, 4123 Business Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet.