ST. CLOUD - In spite of this being the opening day of deer hunting season, over 2,000 people packed the River's Edge Convention Center to support Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Dr. Paul has historically polled well in central Minnesota with his stance on smaller government, a sharp decrease in U.S. military presence overseas and less federal spending.

Paul stressed the need to take America's precarious financial situation out of the hands of Washington, and place it back into the hands of the people.

Dr. Paul added that, for the first time in history, U.S. debt has superseded the country's Gross National Product.

His message rang true with his enthusiastic central Minnesota supporters - like Monticello resident and longtime Paul campaigner Stacy Morse.

The talk came after the Paul campaign's recent establishment of a campaign headquarters in the Twin Cities' suburb of Minnetonka.

His next campaign stop will be later today in Fargo.