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Romney wins Spokane County straw poll

Mitt Romney pulled off a razor thin victory in the straw poll of Republicans attending their precinct caucuses Saturday morning.

The former Massachusetts governor topped former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum by 10 votes -- 1,521 to 1,511 -- in Spokane County. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul was third with 1,340 and former Newt Gingrich a distant fourth with 411.

Paul won Spokane County in 2008, and his supporters became active in the local party. He made two visits to Spokane in the last two weeks, but Santorum may have received a boost from a stop in the heavily Republican Spokane Valley on Thursday.

Romney didn't make a campaign stop in the Spokane area, but one of his sons did, and his state campaign chairwoman is Eastern Washington's congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

"I hope that we can start unifying behind our nominee and start building that enthusiasm," an ecstatic McMorris Rodgers said Saturday evening.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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