A group of Nevada Republicans held what they're calling the real state convention on Saturday to do what April's gathering could not: appoint delegates to the National Convention.
Party leadership says the Nevada Republican Convention will formally reconvene in late July. But Saturday's gathering sponsored by Ron Paul delegate Dr. Wayne Terhune determined chairman Bob Beers acted illegally when he halted the initial convention in April; and an established quarom of 327 delegates was within its rights to carry out a new and legal convention.
"As opposed to the elite few at the top that may try to dictate terms or appoint delegates, we want to have the delegates vote on who should be the delegates to the National Convention," says Terhune.
Typically, the party committee develops a slate of nominations before turning it over to the floor. But in April, that never happened, which was something the Ron Paul supporters saw as a slap in the face.
"After 40 years of being a Republican, I didn't even get a chance to be a delegate," says Beth Haug-Schafter, a Paul delegate from Las Vegas. "They set up everything their way and I was very disappointed."
On Saturday, the crowd appointed Washoe County delegate Mike Weber chairman when Beers declined to show. The convention then voted to ratify most of the rules established in April, which allowed them to declare a quarom despite falling hundreds of delegates short of the previous standard.
All of the changes had at least one delegate questioning the legality of the process.
"What we've done is re-unite the rules," says Tim Riley, a Washoe County delegate. "So we could lower the number because we were not able to get enough people to show up today."
The state party will elect a separate group of delegates in July, but expects that to be challenged by Saturday's appointees. With two sets of delegates likely headed to the National Convention in September, the final decision lies with the National Committee.
The state party sponsored Republican Convention will reconvene on July 26.
The National Convention kicks off in Minneapolis on September 1.