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caption: Portland teen Angela Wilcox poses with presidential candidate Rand Paul at a rally in Seattle.
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Portland teen Angela Wilcox poses with presidential candidate Rand Paul at a rally in Seattle.
Credit: Liz Jones/KUOW

Rand Paul Rally In Seattle Draws Hundreds – Including Some Bernie Sanders Fans

Presidential hopeful Rand Paul continued his Western tour with campaign stops in Seattle and Spokane Wednesday.

At Seattle’s Town Hall, hundreds chanted “President Paul” as he took the stage. Afterward, many waited in a long line to get a photo with the candidate.

“He’s definitely my No. 1 candidate,” said Angela Wilcox, who persuaded her dad, Jim Wilcox, to drive three hours from Portland for this rally. Angela is 14 and won’t even be eligible to vote in the next presidential election.

The pair left their Portland home at 1 a.m. to make sure they didn’t hit traffic delays on the way to the rally.

Angela says she didn’t want to miss an opportunity to hear Paul speak. She said she likes Paul's position on individual rights and his stand against abortion.

“I definitely like that he’s trying to defund Planned Parenthood,” she said as she stood in line for a photo with the candidate. “That’s something that’s really important to me.”

Paul is a Christian, a conservative and a Republican senator from Kentucky. On stage, he talked about his aim make government smaller and limit U.S. involvement in war.

“If you’re eager for war, there are 10 other people I can recommend,” Paul said. “If you’re eager for war, there will always be a Bush or a Clinton for you.”

Paul also spoke at length about another of his key issues – to stop what he refers to as “government spying on Americans.”

“There is absolutely no reason why the government should be looking at your phone records,” Paul said as the crowd responded with cheers.

After the speech, Seattle preschool teacher Georgina Hain said she was surprised to find a lot of common ground with Paul.

“The government … collection of data really spoke to me and to what a lot of my friends believe,” Hain said. “Also what he was saying about no term limits in government and not having an interventionist policy with regard to war – really a lot of things he said I thought made a lot of sense.”

In the photo line, dad Jim Wilcox said he agrees with Paul’s focus on constitutional rights and efforts to stop government overreach.

He hesitated when asked if he and his 14-year-old daughter share the same political views.

“I’m undecided still,” he said. Wilcox voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Paul supporters in Seattle said they also like independent candidate Bernie Sanders, who has described himself as a Democratic Socialist. To some, both candidates represent change and a break from mainstream party lines.

“Our nation is dramatically polarized, and we’re not listening to either side,” Seattle resident Tim Wright said after Paul’s speech. Wright said he’s following both Sanders’ and Paul’s campaigns.

“Paul has some interesting ideas about creating a consensus about what American values are – ‘What are we as a nation?’” Wright said. “That’s a pretty valuable message."