Santorum Makes Stop in Western ND | VideoKevin Boughton | 2/15/2012
On Wednesday, voters in Tioga got a chance to see Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum during a campaign stop. It is rare for a presidential contender to swing through western North Dakota, but Tioga natives said it`s about time.
Riding high after three primary wins last week, Santorum stopped for a visit at a place that, so far, the other candidates have been passing by.
"Very surprised. All the other candidates seem to be ignoring us up here," said Reese Haase, 22, Williston.
In an increasingly tight race for the GOP nomination, appearances can win votes in rural communities like Tioga. Where long-time residents said they`re glad Tioga is getting its time in the spotlight.
"I do think we deserve it. We are the oil capital of North Dakota so I think we should have had prestige like this a long time ago," explained residant Ramona Barmone.
There`s a lot to be said for knowing your audience. Santorum told voters that reducing oilfield traffic would be a top priority of his administration. "People always ask me what are the first things you`re gonna do when you`re in office. On day one we will sign the executive order to begin the commencement of the Keystone Pipeline," he explained.
Now in a battle for votes, this face-time may give candidates a boost.
Barone said she is now thinking about voting for Santorum, "He was willing to come to Tioga when many others refused."