August 21, 2012

Ron Paul adds convention delegates in Louisiana deal

Paul supporters are close to reaching a deal over disputed delegates in Massachusetts, but Maine's situation is still 'unsettled.'

By Stephen Ohlemacher / The Associated Press

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Talks continue over the status of delegates for Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, at the upcoming GOP convention in Tampa.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON — Rep. Ron Paul picked up more delegates to the Republican National Convention Tuesday after his supporters reached a compromise over disputed delegates from Louisiana.

The Texas congressman will get 17 of the Louisiana's 46 delegates in the compromise, said Charlie Davis, who served as Paul's campaign chairman in Louisiana. The rest of the state's delegates are expected to support Mitt Romney, the party's presumptive nominee.

A Republican National Committee official confirmed the agreement. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to publicly discuss the negotiations.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won 10 delegates in Louisiana's primary in March. But Santorum has endorsed Romney and is scheduled to speak at the convention next Tuesday.

Supporters of Paul and Romney clashed at the Louisiana party convention in June and ended up holding dueling conventions, with each group submitting lists of delegates. The two sides reached the compromise Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., the site of next week's national convention.

"I think it's a huge win for our campaign because it showed what happened in Louisiana was wrong," Davis said by phone from Tampa. "It's been a long uphill battle, but the overwhelming evidence was on our side."

Supporters for Paul and Romney also have disputes over delegates in Massachusetts and Maine. Jesse Benton, Paul's chief campaign strategist, said Paul's supporters were close to reaching an agreement on divvying up the delegates from Massachusetts.

"Maine is still unsettled, but talks are continuing and the conversation remains respectful," Benton said in an email.

Jason Dore, executive director of the Republican Party of Louisiana, said party officials are glad to resolve the dispute so they can "unite and work toward nominating our candidate for president next week."

"That's what the purpose of the convention is, not all this infighting," said Dore, who gave up his seat as a delegate in the compromise.

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