About 2,500 people came to see former President Bill Clinton stump for his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, at a rally at North Medford High School this afternoon.

The 42nd president of the United States was nearly an hour late, but the crowd waiting in the school’s gymnasium didn’t seem to mind.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is an amazing election,” Clinton began. “And aren’t you glad your votes are going to count?”

A rousing cheer answered his slightly veiled reference to calls by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the Democrat presidential race and support rival Barack Obama.

“I believe Hillary is going to have big victories in Pennsylvania as she did in Ohio,” he said. “She thinks it’s a good thing we’re going to take this election all the way to the end.”

President Clinton took no questions after his speech, which lasted about an hour and 20 minutes.

Hillary Clinton is expected to visit the Rogue Valley later in April.

“I would be here for Hillary even if we had never met,” Clinton said of his first campaign stop in Oregon on his wife’s behalf. “I think she’s the best candidate for president in decades.”

Clinton has appearances scheduled in Portland, Bend and Salem on Monday.

- Staff reports