FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - California congressman Duncan Hunter won Texas' first Republican Party Straw Poll on Saturday in a low turnout event that lacked the top-tier presidential candidates.
Hunter got 534 votes, or 41 percent of the vote. Former Tennessee senator and actor Fred Thompson, who is expected to announce his candidacy next week but was not at the event, came in second with 266 votes, or nearly 21 percent. Texas congressman Ron Paul came in third with 217 votes, or 17 percent.
Crowd support seemed split between Hunter and Paul, whose supporters waved signs and chanted his name throughout the day. Other candidates attending were Chicago businessman John Cox, who got 10 votes; counterterrorism expert Hugh Cort of Birmingham, Ala., who got three votes; and tool-and-die maker Ray McKinney of Savannah, Ga., with 28 votes.
Each of the other absent but better-known candidates received less than 7 percent of the vote. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came in fourth with 83 votes; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani got 78 votes; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received 61 votes; and Arizona Sen. John McCain garnered eight votes.
Others who didn't attend, Kansas senator Sam Brownback and
Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo, each received six votes.
The Texas primary is March 4.
The Texas straw poll is only for party activists, and those casting ballots must have been a delegate or alternate to a recent GOP state or national convention. Last month's Iowa Republican straw poll, in which Romney won, was open to any voter who paid for a ticket.
Texas GOP officials had said they expected 2,000 people to vote Saturday, but only 1,300 did.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)