By BILL BARROW
ATLANTA (AP) - Donald Trump is expanding his paid campaign staff into several Southern states that will be key to selecting the Republican presidential nominee.
Trump's advisers say it's a sign he's committed to a long race, despite suggestions he's reconsidering his bid.
He now has paid staff in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Trump will be in metro Atlanta for a rally Saturday that is expected to draw thousands. He set the high mark for Republicans this campaign when he drew about 30,000 to an Alabama rally in August.
Political observers say Trump may not seem like a natural fit for Southerners. But the South has long been the nation's most conservative region and most distrustful of central government. That makes Trump's anti-Washington pitch easy to sell.