LAS VEGAS (AP) - At least five Clark County Republican Party officers resigned this week in the latest tussle between Ron Paul supporters and the mainstream GOP in Nevada.
Former Vice Chairman Woody Stroupe told the Associated Press on
Thursday that Paul supporters "have been picking fights with the RNC" and are not interested in electing all Republicans.
Paul supporters within the Clark County GOP called last week for the resignation of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince
Priebus for backing presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the nominating process is over.
"You could say that was the straw that broke the camel's back," Stroupe said.
Others who resigned include Chairman Dave Gibbs, Precinct
Organization Administrator Matthew Yarbrough, Communications
Director Bobbie Haseley and Media Relations Director Michael
Stroupe said he and the other former officers will instead work directly with the Republican National Committee to elect GOP candidates, including Romney, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and U.S. Rep. Joe Heck.
Former Secretary Cindy Lake has been appointed acting chair. Lake, a longtime Paul activist, said the Clark County GOP wants to elect conservative Republicans, not any person with "an `R' behind their name." She said tea party supporters also endorse the organization's efforts.
Lake said Gibbs threw his resignation letter at her during a special Clark County GOP meeting Wednesday night, before storming from the room. Gibbs could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.
The former officers took the keys to the Clark County GOP office with them, forcing the remaining party members to change the locks, Lake said.
"We did not see it coming at all," she said.
Clark County GOP Central Committee members voted 184-182 last
week to condemn the RNC and Priebus for what the local party said
was a violation of national rules governing when the party can assist a candidate.
Newly-elected state GOP Chairman Michael McDonald has defended
Priebus, saying Republicans need to rally behind Romney to defeat
President Barack Obama.
At the Nevada Republican convention earlier this month, Paul supporters won the bulk of delegates to the national convention in
August. Under existing rules, they are bound to cast their first-round nominating votes based on the outcome of the Nevada caucuses in February: 20 delegates for Romney, eight for Paul.
In the unlikely event that Romney doesn't win the nomination in the first go-around, Nevada's delegates may ignore the caucus outcome and vote for their preferred candidate. Roughly 22 of the 25 at-large delegates support Paul.