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McCain support tepid in Washington state

Feb. 18, 2008 at 7:39 PM

SEATTLE, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- John McCain is expected to win Washington state's Republican presidential primary Tuesday, but is not widely supported by GOP activists there, a report said.

The Arizona senator is the presumptive Republican nominee, leading long shot rivals former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas Rep. Ron Paul in the race for delegates.

Thurston County Republican Gene Pardee told The Seattle Times that McCain is not his first, or even second, choice.

He originally supported former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and then when he exited the race he supported Huckabee.

Pardee said he'll vote Tuesday for Huckabee to "send a signal to the party, to keep to the right."

However, after Tuesday's primary, he said "it's flat-out for McCain."

Huckabee is widely popular among social conservatives in Washington, the newspaper reported.

Bob Eberle, a former Republican state legislator, initially supported Thompson, and then threw his support behind Romney until the former Massachusetts governor exited the race. Now he backs Huckabee.

"I think there are a lot of folks coalescing around Mike Huckabee, not because of what he stands for, but because he's the one who's not McCain," Eberle was quoted as saying.

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