RENO, Nev. (AP) - Supporters of Republican presidential
candidate Ron Paul say they came away with all 75 state delegates
from Nye County and more than half of 108 state delegates from
Douglas County in convention voting Saturday.
But leaders of the Nye Republican Central Committee say they
plan to appeal the vote to the state GOP Credentials Committee
because Paul backers violated party rules and state law, prompting
them to leave before the election.
"Me and the others left early because the Paul supporters
violated state law, and were unruly and rowdy," said Fely A.
Quitevis, chair of the Nye GOP. "I couldn't stand it anymore and
gave up. In my heart and mind, I know I did the right thing."
Paul supporters maintain Nye GOP leaders cheated by trying to
convene the convention with unelected delegates, and they elected a
chair who oversaw a fair election.
"Supporters of Dr. Paul are reshaping Republican politics in
Nevada," Carl Bunce, Nevada chairman of Paul's campaign, said in a
statement. "They have the stamina and determination to bring the
party back to its limited-government roots, county by county."
Last month, Paul backers captured more than half of Clark
County's 1,382 delegates to the state convention in Sparks in May.
They also won 14 of the Clark GOP's 21 executive board positions.
The county encompassing Las Vegas is the state's most populous.
While Paul supporters have said they share the GOP goal of
defeating President Barack Obama, the Paul factor could complicate
matters at the state convention.
Four years ago, GOP leaders who supported then-presidential
candidate John McCain abruptly shut down the state convention in
Reno when it appeared Paul would take most of Nevada's delegates to the national convention.
The state convention will elect 28 delegates to the Republican
National Convention this summer in Tampa, Fla.
Ralph McMullen, parliamentarian for the state Republican Party,
said it would be up to the credentials committee to decide whether
the Nye election was legal. The panel also will consider a similar
controversy involving Carson City's state delegates, he added.
"I don't care who wins as long as the rules are followed,"
McMullen said. "We don't want a repeat of 2008. The main thing is
you win it fairly and squarely."
Bunce has said Paul supporters would follow rules requiring
Nevada's 28 delegates to be bound on the first ballot to vote in
line with the GOP caucus-winning percentages. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney earned 14 of those delegates because he finished with 50 percent of the caucus vote in February.
But delegates could switch to other candidates if a contested
convention leads to more than one ballot.
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