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Santorum surge thrills some TN conservatives

Michael Cass • Jan 5, 2012 at 10:06 AM

NASHVILLE — Rick Santorum’s presidential candidacy looked like a very long shot when Dr. David Hunter started giving money to his campaign last summer.

Mitt Romney seemed to be constantly leading the Republican field, always fending off one surging rival or another — which never seemed to be Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

But the storyline changed early Wednesday morning. Santorum finished just eight votes behind Romney in the Iowa caucus, the first step on the road to the GOP presidential nomination. Hunter, a retired physician who lives in Goodlettsville, now sees a chance for an underfunded candidate to keep pushing his message of fiscal responsibility, strong foreign policy and conservative social stances.