RENO, Nev. (AP) - Outmaneuvered by raucous Ron Paul supporters,
Nevada Republican Party leaders shut down their weekend state
convention and now must resume the event, probably in Las Vegas, to
complete a list of 31 delegates to the GOP national convention to
be held in September in St. Paul, Minn.
State Sen. Bob Beers, the convention chairman, was booed loudly
as he called for a recess Saturday evening, saying the party's rental contract for a big meeting room at a Reno hotel-casino had expired and there was too much work left to complete.
The abrupt shutdown ended a long day that pitted outnumbered supporters of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain against well-organized Paul supporters - whose large share
of the more than 1,300 state convention delegates enabled them to get a rule change positioning them for more national convention delegate slots than expected.
State GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden said the rules change wasn't
anticipated. She denied any anti-Paul bias, saying expected slates
of national delegates were prepared through a fair and open process
by the convention's nominations committee and the party thought the
convention would accept them.
Jeff Greenspan, regional coordinator for the Paul campaign, said Paul supporters had the ability to finish the voting before the convention ended, adding, "This is highly irregular."
Paul supporter Chloe Leavitt said, "They hijacked the party away from the people. We were winning and they shut it down."
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)