No New GOP Convention Date Yet

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - State Republican Party leaders are still hunting for a date to complete a convention abruptly shut down prior to final votes on what was shaping up as a Nevada delegation to the national GOP convention with more supporters for Ron Paul than John McCain.

Zach Moyle, the state party's executive director, said Monday the plan is still to have the convention in the Reno area, but it has been tough to arrange on short notice for space for a big crowd. There were more than 1,300 people at the party's April 26 convention in Reno.

The state GOP also has looked into options such as mail-in balloting or teleconferencing to get a good turnout and also hold down costs for participants, Moyle said.

Completing the convention by mid-June would be good, but "it's much more imperative to make sure we can maximize turnout as opposed to getting a date set right away," Moyle said.

Ron Paul backers were upset by the recess at the April 26 convention and expressed concern about getting fair treatment when it resumes. Party leaders have insisted the Paul supporters won't be disenfranchised.

Jeff Greenspan, regional coordinator for the Paul campaign, has said supporters of the Texas congressman will turn out in force for the rest of the convention, adding that the big concern is that the 31-member national convention delegation not be picked in secret.

State Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, who chaired the convention, has said it would have taken several hours more to complete work on the national convention delegation, and "we were on overtime on our contract for our convention space."

Beers was booed loudly as he called for the convention recess. The shutdown ended a long day that pitted outnumbered supporters of McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, against well-organized Paul supporters who were able to get a rule change positioning them for more national convention delegate slots than expected.

State GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden has 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.

Mitt Romney, now campaigning for McCain, got 52 percent in Nevada's GOP precinct straw polls in January, while McCain and Paul split a quarter of the votes.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)