Don't think Rep. Ron Paul is finished.
Even though the Libertarian-leaning Lake Jackson doctor announced Monday that he's not spending any more money in the remaining Republican primaries, the last Texan standing in the presidential contest stressed that he's not out of the race.
He's still in the campaign, but no longer campaigning in a traditional sense -- a classic unorthodox move by Paul.
"This campaign fought hard and won electoral success that the talking heads and pundits never thought possible," Paul said in an e-mail to supporters. "But, this campaign is also about more than just the 2012 election. It has been part of a quest I began 40 years ago and that so many have joined. It is about the campaign for Liberty, which has taken a tremendous leap forward in this election."
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While political observers said Paul's campaign cutback on spending money in remaining primaries essentially means he is suspending his campaign, Paul said that is not the case.
"Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process," he said in his e-mail. "We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future."
Paul has long lagged in the delegate count behind front-runner Mitt Romney but has continued to gain delegates as other Republican candidates dropped out of the race. Paul's backers can rest assured that effort will continue, said his son, Robert, of Fort Worth.
Supporters of Paul's presidential campaign are expected to be a force at state GOP conventions nationwide -- as they were during his 2008 campaign -- trying to become delegates for Paul at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in August. They hope for a brokered convention that could open the door for Paul to be the nominee.
This is Paul's third bid for the White House.
"In no way, shape or form are we suspending ... the campaign," said Kory Watkins, a 28-year-old Mansfield man who will serve as a Ron Paul delegate at the Republican Party of Texas' state convention in Fort Worth this June. "We're still here."
In fact, Watkins said, Paul's campaign is planning a big online fundraising campaign -- known as a "massive money bomb" -- on Thursday.
"Ron Paul has run his whole campaign without going in debt, without spending too much money, because he's a true conservative," Watkins said. "We'll see you in Tampa with lots of delegates."
Paul's statement said he won't be spending money on primaries in states that haven't voted yet because that would "take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have."
"I encourage all supporters of Liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and congressional elections, where so many defenders of Freedom ... need your support," Paul said in his statement. "I hope all supporters of Liberty will remain deeply involved -- become delegates, win office, and take leadership positions. I will be right there with you."
Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610