Pahrump, Nev. - This is the only county Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) won in the 2008 Nevada Caucus, and Paul's campaign event at the Skate Zone today made it pretty clear why
. The entirely volunteer-run event had all the trappings of a professional campaign: people providing information on where to caucus, merchandise hawkers, audio and visual people, and a massive map for people just to make sure, again, that they knew where they were going tomorrow.
Even before arriving at the event I had to drive by several massive "Ron Paul for President" signs that dotted the main roads into town. Paul's event in Elko was well run but this was on a whole different level.
"Like all the grassroots Ron Paul things, there's nobody really in charge. Somebody says something needs to get done somebody steps up and does it," said, Pat Kerby, one of the main Paul organizers in Nye County.
Sources in the Paul campaign said the candidate relied on the local organizers to select the venue and do the rest. All the campaign did was put up the money to rent the facility and cover incidentals.
"We learned all about this process in 2008 and we're ready to repeat our victory again by a much bigger margin," said Kerby, a retired project manager with the Clark County School system.
There was even a local security team comprised of several men openly carrying handguns, uniformly dressed in black "Ron Paul 2012 Freedom Tour" shirts. In addition to these volunteers, Paul has his own security.
Sam Jones, one of the local security volunteers, was carrying .45 Long Colt on his side. Jones said that he's been volunteering with the campaign since he heard Paul was running.
"All the signs you see around the valley, we build and put 'em up," he said.
Jones said he will not vote for another candidate if Ron Paul is not the Republican Party nominee, but he said he was open to Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
Paul's Nevada campaign chairman, Carl Bunce expects Paul to win Nevada tomorrow as long as his campaign turns out its identified supporters. Bunce said the campaign did not have a problem with people openly carrying guns at campaign events. "Ron Paul is strong on the Second Amendment. We have the right to bear arms," he said.