Ron Paul
Charlie Neibergall  /  AP file
Rep. Ron Paul speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's annual Reagan Dinner, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa.
updated 6/12/2008 5:26:53 PM ET 2008-06-12T21:26:53

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will end his campaign Thursday night and announce a new effort to help elect libertarian-leaning Republicans to public office around the country.

Campaign spokesman Jesse Benton said the announcement, expected during a rally coinciding with the Texas GOP State Convention in Houston, was "not a disappointment at all. I think this is really exciting."

Paul's announcement will be a formality.

The 72-year-old Texas congressman won few delegates during the Republican primaries. But he raised millions of dollars online and developed a large, grass-roots following among those who backed his call for ending the war in Iraq and smaller government at home.

Supporters have pushed for a speaking role for him at the Republican National Convention in September in St. Paul, Minn.

Paul has said he won't endorse Sen. John McCain, the likely GOP presidential nominee. Benton said that was unlikely to change.

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