Primary People: In step in with Paul's campaign (New Hampshire)
New Hampshire Union Leader ^ | July 29, 2007 | Clynton Namuo
Posted on 07/29/2007 8:13:01 AM EDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
Primary People: In step in with Paul's campaign
By CLYNTON NAMUO
New Hampshire Union Leader Correspondent
Dover Some supporters hold signs on street corners for their candidates.
Others raise money or talk to their friends.
For resident Kelly Halldorson, those acts simply weren't enough for her favorite candidate, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who faces an uphill battle for the Republican nomination.
So Halldorson, 34, plans to tell more people than the average supporter about Paul when she hands out literature this Saturday while she walks to Concord. From Dover.
"Instead of giving $2,300, I'm going to walk 38 miles," Halldorson said.
Paul, who represents the Gulf Coast area of Texas, is by every means a maverick. He wants to abolish the IRS and the Department of Education. He believes in withdrawing from free trade agreements and international organizations he says infringe upon America's independence, including the United Nations, the WTO and NAFTA, among others.
Above all, Paul pushes personal freedom and small government with lower taxes. He also strongly believes troops should be taken out of Iraq.
"His views are so much in line with mine," Halldorson says. "I agree with him on 95 percent of the issues. How many candidates do you find that you agree with that much?" Halldorson said she knows first hand what government assistance does -- not much.
After living in a housing project and then a trailer in Dover, Halldorson said she moved out to Los Angles with her then boyfriend and now husband, Jeff, just in time for the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, which killed dozens and injured thousands.
Disappointed with government
Halldorson said the government's response after the earthquake had a profound effect on her view that less government is better for everyone.
"I think that had a huge impact," she said, noting a terrible federal response after Hurricane Katrina as well. "To me the federal involvement was a huge failure." Earthquake victims lined up and got federal money with little proof they even needed it, Halldorson said. She said federal help overall is a failure and points to her time living in the projects as evidence.
"A lot of the urban housing in these districts have so much crime and so much pain," she said, adding "I've lived in the projects. I don't think those projects help anyone." The solution for much of society's ills is self-reliance, Halldorson said.
She, her husband and their three children -- sons Wolfgang, 12, and Griffin, 10, and daughter, Zoey, 9 -- have their fair share of money problems, she said, but they get by however they can, whether asking family for help, cutting back on expenses or getting another job.
"You don't have to have the answer," she said, noting that her family deals with problems as they arise and always finds a way out.
For example, when her one of her sons hurt his tooth, Halldorson said she had no money to fix it.
So she took him to a free clinic at Dover's Wentworth Douglass Hospital -- but only after making sure the clinic received no public funds whatsoever.
Likes his independence
This ideal of personal freedom and self reliance is a cornerstone of Paul's campaign, and Halldorson believes more people, particularly in Live Free or Die New Hampshire, would support the congressman if they knew more about him and his views.
With little name recognition and even less media coverage, however, it is up to supporters like her to spread the message. In this case, she'll spread the message from her home in Dover along Route 9 to Route 4 and all the way into Concord.
"I think the word just needs to get out," she says.
For its part, the Paul campaign plans to have water and additional supporters along Halldorson's route, said New Hampshire coordinator Jared Chicoine. He said Paul and his views attract ardent grassroots supporters that are a key element needed to win a primary like New Hampshire's. "I think it really energizes supporters to get out there and work for him and do incredible things," he said. Chicoine said the many news stories calling Paul a long shot miss the point that New Hampshire is a state made specifically for those candidates to break out. "From a New Hampshire point of view, if they call us a long shot, fine, fine," he said. "We're still gonna work hard and our base is motivated. Our supporters here are ready to go. I don't get discouraged by it, to be honest with you. I just think it's more motivation to work harder."
Halldorson plans to leave her Dover home at 5 a.m. Saturday for the trek to Concord and is shooting to get to the Statehouse by 10 p.m., if not earlier. A vegan herself, Halldorson plans to stop at Susty's Radical Vegan in Northwood for lunch before continuing on to Concord.
Despite having never walked such a long distance before, Halldorson said the only things that could stop her are thunder and lightning.
"I'm not going to get electrocuted doing it," she said. "If it's just raining, I plan to keep going."
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