Supporters of Texas congressman Rep. Ron Paul (R) for the Republican presidential nomination are hoping to “hijack” Maine’s Republican convention this weekend, according to a report at Talking Points Memo.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) won the state’s caucus vote in February, but only by the slimmest of margins, taking 39 percent of the 5,000 votes cast and Paul taking 34.9 percent. One county, Washington County, was unable to conduct its election and report results because of a snow storm. The state was declared a Romney win without the county’s results, angering Paul supporters.
Now, those supporters are hoping to have one of their own elected as the state convention chair, said Paul Madore, chairman of Rep. Paul’s Maine operation, to the AP.
The fight for the state chairmanship echoes a battle set to rage at state Republican conventions across the nation this spring, and one that is being fought within the Republican Party itself between mainstream Republicans, who support Romney, and the more libertarian wing of the party, who support Paul.
Paul’s supporters, who are notoriously well-organized and web-savvy, are hoping to send enough delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Florida to oust Romney from the ticket and secure their candidate the nomination. Caucus votes in many of the states that have voted are non-binding. Delegate totals are expected to reflect the state’s vote totals, but are decided at the state conventions.
A similar struggle is expected to play out this weekend at Nevada’s convention. The state’s delegation has been warned in a letter from the Republican National Committee that if the state fails to reflect Nevada’s caucus results and packs the delegation with too many Paul supporters, the national party threatened that it will not seat them at the national convention.
The possible takeover reflects actions taken by the Maine Tea Party at the state’s May, 2010 Republican convention. Tea Party activists turned out in sufficient numbers to carry out something of a coup, ousting the state’s official Republican Party platform and replacing it with their own charter.
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