Paul traveling to NH to court GOP bigwig

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is traveling to New Hampshire this week to court a state Republican power-broker and meet with potential voters.

Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman, will meet with GOP activists on Thursday and then hold three meet and greet events Friday before huddling with Ovide Lamontagne, who operates an influential political action committee in the first in the nation primary state, according to the Manchester N.H. Union Leader

Paul is looking to make a stronger showing in New Hampshire than he did during his last run for president in 2008, when he finished fifth in the GOP primary contest.

The congressman made his presidential bid official in New Hampshire last month and already has staff on the ground there.

The race's front-runner -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) -- has made the Granite State the centerpiece of his primary campaign, which could make it difficult for other candidates to gain traction there.

But many candidates are seeking the support of Lamontagne, who ran a failed Senate primary race in 2010, with the hopes of boosting their chances of breaking through.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), another declared candidate, recently hired Lamontagne's niece to work on his New Hampshire staff.