As Predicted, Ron Paul Backers Take Over Maine GOP Convention
Fervent supporters of Ron Paul assumed control of the Maine Republican Party convention on Saturday with hopes of using their new power to send a majority of delegates to represent Maine at the national convention.
The narrow election late Saturday morning of Paul delegates as convention secretary and convention chairman allowed Paul’s supporters to shift the event away from the Maine GOP establishment.
Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster had predicted in an email last week to Republicans that Paul supporters would attempt to assert their authority at the convention and that’s exactly what happened.
“Takeover is strong word; we’re all registered Republicans here,” said Matthew McDonald of Belfast, a Waldo County Republican and a Paul supporter. “But Chairman Webster called Ron Paul supporters wingnuts, he saw us as a fringe minority; now we hold the power of the convention.”
It was a major symbolic coup for Paul supporters and a bit of a letdown for Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Ironically, Romney’s brother, Scott Romney, was scheduled to deliver the convention’s keynote address on Saturday evening.
Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake, R-Turner, said this was his third state convention but he hasn’t experienced anything like what happened on Saturday.
“What has taken six or seven hours today is normally done in 15 to 20 minutes,” he joked. “I think this is the last stand of the Paul supporters and it’s certainly their right to do it. This is a prime example of why we should go to a primary instead of caucus.”