Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Ron Paul supporters claim 12 of 13 national at-large delegates

Ron Paul, who addressed the Minnesota GOP convention Friday night, won a decisive majority of the at-large delegates for the national Republican convention.

ST. CLOUD — The Ron Paul supporters in the Minnesota Republican Party reached their high-water mark Saturday, the second day of the state convention here.

Candidates pledged to support Paul for president at the National Republican Convention in Tampa claimed 12 of the 13 at-large seats. Paul delegates had already claimed 20 of the 24 national slots that were determined in elections at the congressional level.

With three national slots for party officers, the Minnesota delegation goes to Tampa with 32 of 40 delegates supporting Paul.

Marianne StebbinsMinnPost/Brian HallidayMarianne Stebbins

Marianne Stebbins — head of the Paul campaign in Minnesota, who orchestrated Paul dominance at the state convention — celebrated the victory with a nod to cooperation.

“We are happy that the liberty candidates have integrated with the Republican Party,” she said.  But she stopped short of a full backing of Mitt Romney when asked about what the Paul delegates will do after Romney formally wins the national Republican endorsement.

“Everybody makes their own decision on that,” she said.

Paul’s support was so strong that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appeared to have gained the one national delegate spot supporting Romney only after a Paul delegate withdrew “out of respect.” 

The top vote-getter on the national delegate slate was Kurt Bills, the newly endorsed candidate for U.S Senate who supports Paul and who spent the morning with him in St. Cloud raising money for the Republican Party.

The candidates gave one-minute presentations that often invoked liberty, freedom and apprehension. “Will today’s children be stifled by monstrous federal government?” asked Adam Pauhert, a Paul supporter who was running for an alternate slot.

It’s worth noting that selecting delegates to the national convention can be an emotional, convoluted and mischievous process.

Chaos slate flierMinnPost photo by Brian HallidayThe ‘Convention Chaos Slate’ flier circulated by activist John Gilmore

To throw a little gasoline onto the flaming passion of Ron Paul delegates, Republican activist John Gilmore circulated a leprechaun-green flier warning delegates of the “convention chaos slate.”  Mostly names of candidates who support Ron Paul, “they will embarrass Minnesota,” Gilmore said. The candidates and GOP Chair Pat Shortridge denounced the flier.

Jeff JohnsonMinnPost/Brian HallidayJeff Johnson

The Paul-Romney rivalries, though spirited, never rose above the level of a fierce family fight. Stebbins, who was credited by national committeeman Jeff Johnson for “a ridiculous ability to organize,” promised hard work on behalf of state candidates. “What we are going to do is a major effort to elect Kurt Bills and to help candidates at the legislative and local levels,” she said.

Johnson, at the convention podium, addressed the factions directly. 

“I want to say something to the Ron Paul lovers in the room and the Ron Paul haters.

To the ones that are here because of Ron Paul  — the chatter is they don’t care about the Republican Party,” he said. “If that makes you mad, make sure it doesn’t happen. Don’t disappear.” To the Romney supporters, he added: “My advice to you is get over it.  There’s no such thing as standing still.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Ross Williams on 05/19/2012 - 08:08 pm.

    An explanation is in order

    Perhaps there will be an explanation from the media on how Santorum “won” in Minnesota and Paul ended up with almost all the delegates. The simple truth is that the media deliberately misrepresented the non-binding straw poll at the Minnesota caucuses as a binding result in order to create a meaningful story. One Associated Press story even accused Paul’s campaign of “wrecking” the process by winning delegates the media had assigned to Santorum.

    Minnesota isn’t the only place this happened. Santorum was declared the “winner” having won a “sweep” of three states. In essence the media has turned the presidential campaigns into media events where they get to judge the “winners” and just ignore the actual results. You can think what you want of using caucuses to choose delegates, but those are the party rules and we would expect the “news” media to report them accurately.

  2. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 05/20/2012 - 03:53 pm.

    Kurt Bills

    I am sure that Klobuchar will not get another nights sleep until this election is over, now that she has to run against a candidate with years of experience and political savvy under his belt. Oh, my mistake he teaches 7 grade economics.

  3. Submitted by Rod Martin on 05/20/2012 - 11:01 pm.

    It’s all about liberty and the meaning of America

    Excellent reporting. The mainstream media seems to be on a mission to serve a specific agenda and that agenda is not truth or anything resembling it. It’s refreshing to see more balanced reporting.

    Some Republicans have complained that a vote for Ron Paul is throwing away your vote and allowing Obama to return to the White House. Not true!

    Seeing the state of the Republic — the insane debt ($15 Trillion and accelerating under both Bush and Obama), international bullying giving us more enemies and making us even poorer, and shredding the Constitution slowly enough most don’t mind — something decisive and drastic needs to be done to resolve this living nightmare — a nightmare which no longer resembles America.

    I would counter to the complaining Republicans that a vote for anyone but Ron Paul is a vote throwing away our liberties. We must think like Americans, not Democrats or Republicans. Our future hangs in the balance.

    Romney would only give us more of the same on the above 3 issues critical to the future of America.
    * More massive debt added to the National Debt Bubble.
    * More warmongering. (Bullying never made anyone strong.)
    * More tyranny. Shredding the Constitution has become the new fad, and too many of us are simply letting it happen.

    Romney has flip-flopped so many times over the years, it’s hard to trust the man. He has flip-flopped even during this campaign season, so it’s doubly hard to trust him. Obama made some astounding and wonderful promises in 2008, but backed out on all of them. Only Ron Paul has a rock-solid track record of a love for the Constitution.

    If America were not in such a precarious position, we might have room to experiment a little with “entertaining” and “popular” presidents. We would be able to choose between the silver-tongued devil and the Hollywood handsome with no need to hope for getting anything constructive done for the true citizens of this great nation. Instead, these puppets pander to the new citizens — the Corporations — declared by the Supreme Court to be “people,” too. And when the debt bubble bursts, the old citizens won’t matter any more — only the ruling elite — the Corporations.

    What evil men do when they change the meanings of the very words we use.

    Restore America. Return to the Constitution. Stop the debt-money system and the runaway spending. Return to the peace-loving America who is a member of the world community — not its most-feared bully.

  4. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 05/21/2012 - 07:43 am.

    It was a terrible tactical mistake for the Paul people to have Bachmann on the delegation.

    Who will be the most interviewed member of the delegation? Who will be the “voice” of the delegation?

    Not some hitherto unknown Paul person. It will be Bachmann.

Leave a Reply