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WASHINGTON - Republican presidential pre-candidates have started to make plans to do campaigning in Puerto Rico, in case the primary race continues two weeks from now.

The plan of Mitt Romney’s electoral committee is to arrive on the island before March 18 -- date of the Republican Presidential Primaries in Puerto Rico -- a source close to the team of the former governor of Massachusetts said.

Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich (R-GA), former senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) are expected to do the same, spokespersons from their respective campaigns said.

“It’s important for Newt what his presidency would mean for Puerto Rico,” said Puerto Rican Javier Ortiz, Republican strategist that informally advises Gingrich.

Santorum already has a formal committee in Puerto Rico, co-chaired by New Progressive senator Kimmey Raschke and the secretary of the Department of Sports and Recreation, Henry Neumann. “They are setting up the date,” said senator Raschke, who is very conservative regarding social issues, just like Santorum.

In the opinion of college student Luis del Valle, local coordinator of groups that support Paul, the visit of Ron Paul could depend greatly on the results of Super Tuesday, when there will be 11 events and 434 delegates would be distributed at the presidential convention.

An unexpected chain of events for any of the main contenders could alter any preliminary plan of including Puerto Rico in the campaign.

Republicans in Puerto Rico would send 23 delegates to the Republican Presidential Convention, 20 of which would be divided according to the results of the March 18 primary.


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