The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Hunter gets straw poll nod

Delegates to the first Texas Straw Poll visit Republican presidential candidates’ booths in the Fort Worth Convention Center this weekend. Many of the top candidates did not attend.  Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian
Delegates to the first Texas Straw Poll visit Republican presidential candidates’ booths in the Fort Worth Convention Center this weekend. Many of the top candidates did not attend. Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian

By André Green/managing editor

Delegates to the first Texas Straw Poll visit Republican presidential candidates’ booths in the Fort Worth Convention Center this weekend. Many of the top candidates did not attend.  Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian
Delegates to the first Texas Straw Poll visit Republican presidential candidates’ booths in the Fort Worth Convention Center this weekend. Many of the top candidates did not attend. Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian

Before the announcement of Saturday’s winner in Texas’ inaugural straw poll, presidential candidate Duncan Hunter downplayed the significance of the top-tier candidates’ reluctance to visit the Lone Star State.

“ The voting folks are national delegates,” the California congressman said. “They’ve seen the names of my colleagues and are familiar with them.”

Hunter added it was to his advantage most of the candidates declined to appear in the poll.

Shortly thereafter, Robin Armstrong, vice chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, announced the tally, but not before teasing audience members at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

“ I think I have something you all are interested in,” he said waving the envelope containing the results.

Hunter, garnering more than 40 percent of the vote, finished 20 points higher than Fred Thompson, who came in second place. Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished third in the voting with 16.7 percent.

Heidi Thiess, Hunter’s Houston regional coordinator, said the victory was a wake-up call for the other Republican candidates.

“ Now they have to think about Hunter,” she said.

Following the vote, Hunter said his availability to the delegates and the other candidates’ absence attributed to the margin of victory.

“Folks like to know that they’re wanted and that people care about them,” he said.

Paul backers were expecting a victory or at least a second place finish. His supporters’ strong showing greatly outnumbered that of his rivals, but it failed to produce results as many of the supporters were ineligible to participate in the informal voting process.

“ The other candidates don’t have the appeal to the Republican Party that Ron Paul has,” Robert Morrow, an Austin volunteer for Paul’s campaign, said.

In addition to Hunter and Paul, only lesser-known candidates attended the event: John Cox, a Chicago businessman; Hugh Cort, counter-terrorism expert of Birmingham, Ala.; and Ray McKinney, Savannah,

Ga., mechanical engineer.

Of the approximate 41,000 Texan delegates eligible to vote in the poll, 1,300 cast ballots.

Regardless of the turn out, Hunter said he was appreciative of the encouragement he received from his supporters and could not wait to share the news of his victory with his biggest supporter, Duncan

Duane, his son currently serving in Afghanistan.

“ When I talk to him, I can tell him old pop won one,” he said.

Hunter said his focus now is on the Republican debates in New Hampshire Nov. 5.

The Texas primary is March 4.

See related story, page 5..

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian