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  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    After finishing second in the New Hampshire Primary, Presidential hopeful, Ron Paul addresses a packed room at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester, Tuesday night.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Dr. Ron Paul gives his second place speech to a packed room at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester, Tuesday evening.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Blake Filippi, of Block Island, RI waves a flag before Dr. Ron Paul arrived on stage at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester, Tuesday evening. Dr. Paul finished second in the New Hampshire Primary.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    A woman cheers during Dr. Ron Paul's speech at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester, Tuesday evening. Dr. Paul finished second in the New Hampshire Primary.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Chelsea Lapishka patients waits for Dr. Ron Paul to make it to the stage at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester, Tuesday evening, shortly before he was announced the second place finisher in the New Hampshire Primary.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paul happy with second place

MANCHESTER – Maybe second place isn’t so bad after all.

Ron Paul and his supporters were jubilant at the finish of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary Tuesday, where Paul placed second behind Mitt Romney, the expected winner.

Nashua resident Michael Smith, 40, was part of the celebration at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester, where Paul spoke to hundreds of cheering supporters.

“I’m quite happy,” Smith said. “After today, when a few people pull out, I’ll be curious to see who gets those votes. There are still a lot of undecideds in New Hampshire, which is hopefully a good situation for Ron Paul.”

Paul gathered 23 percent of the vote, trailing Romney’s 38 percent, but placing ahead of Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich and others.

Paul and his supporters were happy about closing the gap with Romney in the past few weeks.

“We’re nipping at his heels,” Paul said, of Romney.

Paul said his second-place finish showed that the liberty movement isn’t going away.

“We’re dangerous to the status quo,” Paul said.

Nathan Warren, 25, who came all the way from Austin, Texas, to support Paul in New Hampshire, said the second-place finish is a strong step forward.

“This is Mitt Romney territory,” Warren said. “Second place shows that Ron Paul’s message is resonating.”

Warren drove all over the Granite State to spread Paul’s message, stopping in Conway, Keene and other towns before landing in Manchester for the primary party.

“I’ll do whatever is needed,” he said. “We’re all in the same boat, and Ron Paul really cares about people.”

Bedford residents Dennis and Aimee Taylor cast their votes for Paul earlier Tuesday at Bedford High School. They said Romney is a “scary alternative” if Paul doesn’t secure the nomination.

“Romney represents the 1 percent of the 1 percent of the 1 percent,” Dennis Taylor said. “He can’t relate. He’s out of touch. I hope the Republicans wake up, because I think Romney is an unelectable candidate.”

Smith agreed. He said if Romney secures the nomination, he will vote for President Obama in the general election.

“I’ll take four more years of Obama over a possible eight years of Mitt Romney,” he said.

Paul’s consistent message, commitment to the Constitution and dedication to preserving and restoring liberty, drew the most cheers from an excited crowd.

Joey Dion, 45, of Londonderry, is a longtime Paul supporter and added to the festivities in his own way Tuesday night.

Dion volunteered to DJ the primary party at the Executive Court Banquet Facility on Tuesday, and was given only one instruction: Play Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” as Paul takes the stage. Dion said the track is fitting, considering Paul’s history.

“He’s tried so many times, and he continues to go forward with the same message; he’s like a boxer that won’t go down,” Dion said. “He won’t give up, even when the odds are against him.”

Cameron Kittle can be reached at 594-6523 or ckittle@nashuatelegraph.com. Also check out Kittle (@Telegraph_CamK) on Twitter.