Ron Paul backers take control of state GOP convention

STATE HOUSE BUREAU

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul commandeered the Maine Republican Party convention Saturday, as part of a multi-state strategy designed to give him a voice at the national GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.

click image to enlarge

ANNOUNCEMENT: GOP chairman Charles Webster addresses the GOP State Convention Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Maine Sunday Telegram photo by John Patriquin

Despite pre-emptive efforts by state party Chairman Charlie Webster, Paul’s highly organized volunteers and supporters took over the proceedings at the Augusta Civic Center.

Using pre-printed ballots and floor generals who flashed large signs reminding backers which candidates to support, the Paul campaign bested supporters of Mitt Romney, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Paul’s backers took control of key parliamentary positions and the convention agenda. The effort was part of the Paul campaign’s national effort to overtake Republican state conventions and win enough state delegates to send to the national convention.

National pundits believe Paul, a proselytizer of free-market economics and libertarianism who hasn’t won a single state primary, has a slim chance of forcing a brokered convention in Tampa to challenge Romney. However, Paul’s supporters in Maine said sending enough delegates to the event will force the Republican National Committee to give him a prominent speaking role to amplify his message.

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(1) Ron Paul backers take control of state GOP convention
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