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Political views also heard outside GOP debate

Protesters and supporters gather around Mesa Arts Center

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Political views weren't only being heard inside the Mesa Arts Center where Republican presidential hopefuls gathered to debate Wednesday night — they could be heard outside, as well.

DREAM Act supporters, including activist Dolores Huerta, chanted 'Vote Romney, not the DREAM Act' and "Education, not Deportation," which sparked a group of Ron Paul supporters to denounce members of the media for paying attention to the demonstrators rather than their candidate.

Others wanted their voices heard about the future of women's rights.

"We're fed up with the GOP and their attitude toward women," said Karen Van Hooft, spokeswoman for the Arizona chapter of the National Organization of Women.

"In the past few weeks it's become clear that Rick Santorum is absolutely the worst. He doesn't even support abortion in the case that it would save a woman's life," she said.

But one Santorum supporter, Art Ferrari, 54, was more concerned about jobs than women's rights. He said he worries about jobs leaving the U.S.

"We need to get these companies to come back to the United States," said Ferrari. "He's got the policies and the programs that'll make it work."

Paul supporters were some of the most vocal at the intersection of Main and Center streets. The group chanted, "End the Fed."

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"We need to end the Fed because since 1913 the Federal Reserve has devalued our currency 94 percent," said Brock Dezelon, 26, a supply-chain analyst.

"Why is gas rising? Why is rent rising? Why are prices rising? It's because there's an increase in money. When our salaries stay the same and everything else goes up, that's a net loss," Dezelon said.

Dezelon also believes Paul would be good for defense.

"He's going to end the wars, which is probably the most important thing right now because we have more defense spending than the whole world combined. If we could reallocate that, it would be a game-changer," he said.

Curtis Prendergast also writes for The Sonoran Chronicle.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Demonstrators lined Center Street in Mesa on Wednesday.

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