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Paul Ryan rallies in Northern Nevada, visits volunteers in campaign office


Steve Marcus

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan gives a thumbs up to supporters during a campaign stop in Las Vegas Thursday Nov. 1, 2012. Ryan’s wife Janna applauds at right.

Updated Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 | 10:39 a.m.

Paul Ryan visits Las Vegas for impromptu rally

KSNV reports that Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited Las Vegas and spoke to supporters, Nov. 1.

Paul Ryan Makes Campaign Stop

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan greets supporters during a campaign stop in Las Vegas Thursday Nov. 1, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan dropped into his Las Vegas campaign headquarters Thursday to provide some moral support for volunteers and make a few phone calls to supporters himself.

Ryan, accompanied by his wife, Janna, mingled with volunteers at the office in a Southern Nevada strip mall, as they made phone calls and prepped walking routes in a final push to drive voters to the polls.

He also took a moment to place a few calls.

"Hi, I'm Paul Ryan and I'm running for vice president with Mitt Romney," he told one voter he called. "Do me a favor. Talk to everybody you know."

Both of the people he reached had already voted for the ticket, prompting the campaign volunteers to ring a bell signifying another vote to add to the tally.

Ryan then headed into the parking lot where he delivered a 2-minute impromptu speech to gathered supporters, thanking them for "everything you've done" and "what you are about to do."

"We're criss-crossing Nevada because people understand this is not an ordinary election," he told the gathering.

Earlier on Thursday, Ryan urged a Reno crowd to vote early and take friends, neighbors and coworkers to the polls in this critical swing county before heading to Las Vegas, where he is expected to rally campaign volunteers for the final push.

Ryan told the crowd: "This is one of the times that determines what kind of people we're going to be, determines what kind of country we're going to give our kids."

Paul Ryan in Reno: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012

Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appears on stage with his wife Janna during a campaign event, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Reno, Nev. Launch slideshow »

"We're not going to run around for four years blaming other people," he continued. "We're not trying to transform this country into something it was never intended to be."

About 600 people attended the rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center according law enforcement officials, though the campaign said it counted over 900 attendees.

But the crowd was enthused, particularly when Ryan mentioned the campaign’s primary attacks against President Barack Obama, in particular his statement that business owners didn’t build their own businesses without help.

Ryan also mocked Obama for proposing a “secretary of business” to oversee consolidated government agencies. He said there’s already a secretary of commerce.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a job creator in the White House?” he asked the cheering crowd.

The rally was repeatedly punctuated by a chant started by Sen. Dean Heller, and then again later by Ryan: “Five more days.”

“President Obama supporters like to say four more years,” Heller told the crowd. “I like to say ‘5 more days.’”

The crowd took up the chant, "Five more days."

In “five more days, we’ll be talking about former President Barack Obama,” Heller said.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, gave the crowd an update on the status of the race in Nevada.

“We’re doing great, but we need to do more,” he said.

Democrats were 20 percent off what Republicans projected their early voting targets to be, he said.

Ryan’s visit comes as Republicans are making a concerted effort to urge supporters to vote early, territory that Democrats have dominated in past elections. Currently, Democrats hold about a 36,000 voter lead in early voting statewide, which ends Friday.

Democrats hold a significant voter registration advantage in Clark County, while the rurals are strongly Republican. Ryan’s visit emphasizes what many observers believe: that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has to win Washoe County by a significant margin to help offset Democratic Clark County.

Ryan spoke at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center before flying to Las Vegas. He will thank volunteers and make some phone calls at Las Vegas Victory Headquarters near Tropicana Avenue and Grand Canyon Drive.

His visit coincides with a Las Vegas rally by President Barack Obama — an indication that Nevada is still in play just days from the election. Polls remain tight, early voting margins are somewhat close, and neither candidate is ready to cede the Silver State to his opponent.

Heller, in his own tight race to hold onto his seat against Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, said that last night he had a trick-or-treater show up with a Vice President Joe Biden mask. The child’s shirt said, “Everybody’s crazy uncle.”

“Let’s get rid of everybody’s crazy uncle,” Heller said.

Carmen Schnell, 57 of Reno, came out to hear Ryan speak. She had immigrated legally from Peru in 1993, and said the Republican message of self-reliance resonated with her.

Her son, after graduating from college, hasn’t been able to find a job and has moved back in with her.

“It’s not the government who creates jobs,” she said.

Signing off to the small crowd, Ryan issued one last pitch.

"Nevada are you going to help us win this thing?" he said. "Five more days!"

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to remove references to the campaign office being located in Summerlin. | (November 2, 2012)

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