SAVANNAH- Georgia was looking a little red today with nearly a dozen of the candidates seeking the GOP nomination for the 2016 presidential election visiting the state. Savannah even got a look at one candidate as Texas Senator Ted Cruz hosted a town hall meeting.
Cruz kept a Coastal Georgia crowd on their feet talking his stances on campaign issues ranging from repealing Obamacare to gun owner rights.
“He’s not shooting from the hip he’s telling the facts, and what he’s going to do one the first day which is very impressive to a lot of people from what you saw,” says Bob Wort who lives in Richmond Hill.
While Cruz was in town, ten of his GOP competitors took to Atlanta Friday directly following Thursday’s Fox News debate. Cruz’s tour stopped in Savannah following his kick off event earlier that day in South Carolina as he plans to tour around several southern states over the next week.
“We got people all over the country who are signing up, who are volunteering, who are contributing, and I gotta tell ya the energy and passion we’re seeing on the ground is incredible,” says Senator Cruz when speaking with media following the town hall event.
The camp’s stop in Savannah, Cruz says, is one of many centered on grassroots campaigning focusing on voters and their contributions as well as support to the campaign.
Cruz says he’s attributing much of the campaigns success in fundraising to these efforts.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet on who I’m supporting in the race so it’s definitely good to get perspective in person, I watched the debates last night so I got to see all of the candidates talk but it’s really good to see them in person,” says Armstrong State student Dylan Herod who came to the debate with friends.
Cruz identifies with many as a Tea Party Republican candidate as he was branded in his Texas Senate elections. His stance on many issues may not appeal to some moderate Republicans that attended tonight’s town hall, but they say seeing him here meant a lot to them in the end.
“Even if it’s not a hundred percent of what i believe in if he’s going to be respectful, if he’s going to keep his opinion while he’s in DC and resist the Washington DC cartel and he can avoid that I mean I respect him as a candidate for that,” says Herod.
These highly publicized appearances by the GOP presidential hopefuls campaigning here in Georgia and across other southern states stems from anticipation of what is being called the “SEC primary”. This primary, some say, is the work of the secretary of state’s office here in Georgia and surrounding states to have southern states host early presidential primaries around March of 2016.