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Conservative Non-Dorchester Freedom Rally Draws Big Crowd To Clackamas

By Harry Esteve | hesteve@oregonian.com

CLACKAMAS – More than 700 people gathered on short notice Saturday to attend a rally aimed at demonstrating the strength of the conservative wing of the Oregon Republican Party.

The meeting, announced 10 days ago as an alternative to the more moderate Dorchester Conference, the annual GOP gathering in Seaside, featured anti-abortion and religious freedom speeches.

“Abortion remains one of the hottest issues in the country,” National Right to Life President Carol Tobias told the appreciative crowd at the Monarch Hotel. “This fire is not burning out.”

Several conservative groups decided to split from the Dorchester Conference this year in protest of its founder, former U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood, and his pro-choice record. Also, the groups were put off by the conference’s headliner debate and vote on same-sex marriage.

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