May 6, 2012

Maine GOP Convention: Paul shakes up the party

Hoping to send the maverick to Tampa, Ron Paul supporters secure key posts and take over the state convention agenda

By Steve Mistler
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Linda Silvia
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Linda Silvia of China, a Kennebec County delegate, votes for Ron Morrell to be convention secretary at the Maine Republican Convention in Augusta on Saturday. A Paul backer also was elected convention chairman.

Robert F. Bukaty/The Associated Press

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Republican Party state chairman Charles Webster addresses the GOP State Convention at the Augusta Civic Center.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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State Sen. Deborah Plowman, R-Hampden, a U.S. Senate candidate scheduled to speak today, lamented the reduced time on stage.

"The convention is designed to showcase your congressional candidates," said Plowman. "That time has been cut down significantly."

Kathie Summers-Grice, campaign manager for state Sen. Kevin Raye, a 2nd District congressional candidate, said the campaign put a lot of time and effort into the convention and the speeches.

"All of that planning pretty much went away in the blink of an eye," Summers-Grice said.

Paul supporters, however, were upbeat at the prospect of winning state delegates.

The Paul campaign's efforts mirrored those in nearly a dozen other states, where supporters gamed arcane convention rules to send their delegates to Tampa.

While some Republicans worried Saturday that the divisiveness would hurt Romney, the likely presidential nominee, others said the party would unite in the end.

"The idea is to make our presence felt today and everything will be kumbaya on Sunday," said Libby, a Paul supporter.

Tardy, a Romney backer, said the event was meaningful to Maine and the Paul campaign, but may not be significant nationally.

"The presidential nominee is going to be Romney, everyone knows that," Tardy said. "Some people worry that this will make the party appear divided, but my guess is that after this is over Congressman Paul and Governor Romney will have a conversation before the national convention."

He added, "I think the people here who care about this country would hope that they come to some type of resolution."

State House Writer Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

Twitter: @stevemistler

CORRECTION: This story was corrected on Sunday, May 6 to reflect that Rep. Aaron Libby is from North Waterboro, not North Waterford.

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The town of Standish was represented Saturday by Lester Ordway, Will Hamilton and others wearing custom-made T-shirts.

Ron Paul
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Ron Paul


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