East Tennesseans assemble, parade for Ron Paul

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Dozens of Ron Paul proponents took to the streets of Knoxville on Saturday in support of the presidential candidate.

With the Iowa caucuses behind us and the New Hampshire primaries coming up, the grass roots efforts goal was to get their candidate's name out there.

But for many, the Ron Paul Liberty Parade was simply a way to exercise their constitutional right assemble.

"He's a strict constitutionalists,” said supporter Dustin Rush, “he follows the constitution"

Rush was among the parade goers that kicked it all off at 10:30 AM with a public reading of the US Constitution on Market Square.

When the reading concluded, they started a four mile march, starting in the heart of downtown and continuing down Gay Street.

"Hopefully people will notice us and be inclined to Google Ron Paul and find out what he's about," said Bryan Howard, another supporter.

Paul is a republican congressman and physician from Texas who has gained supporters of all ages from around the nation, including East Tennessee.

"There's lots of people in the race who aren't as honest as he is," said Rush, who has seen Paul three times, once in Nashville and twice in South Carolina.

As they marched, parade goers held similar signs, all trying to spread the same message about the 2008 presidential candidate.

“To let this town know there's an alternative to big corporations and popular politicians," said Jeremiah Dixon of his own.

For some people it was a chance to get out and exercise their first amendment rights, such as Joy Chaffin’s who brought her two young children along.

"If he doesn't win, at least we got people to open minds and think about what's going on," she said.

Paul finished fifth this week at the Iowa Republican Caucuses with nearly 10 percent.

He beat out former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and finished about three points before both John McCain and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson.

Mike Huckabee led the field with 34 percent of the votes.

Paul will square off against 6 other republicans in Tennessee's primary on February 5th.

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