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Ron Paul supporters placing final hopes on Nebraska convention

July 12, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • A strong showing in Nebraska could allow Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to be officially nominated for the presidency and granted 15 minutes to address the party at the Republican national convention next month in Tampa, Fla.
A strong showing in Nebraska could allow Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to be officially… (Robert F. Bukaty / AP File…)

Ron Paul’s presidential campaign is not done yet. This weekend, two months after the Texas congressman effectively ended his drive for the White House, his supporters will try to win a plurality of Nebraska’s convention delegates. If they succeed, Paul’s backers will have control over five state delegations, a marker that would allow him to be officially nominated for the presidency, and granted 15 minutes to address the party at the national convention next month in Tampa, Fla.

Mitt Romney won the state’s primary in May with 71% of the vote; Paul was third, behind Rick Santorum, with 10%. But the primary was nonbinding, meaning the results have no bearing on the makeup of the state’s 32-member delegation.

Paul supporters have achieved similar delegate victories in Iowa, Louisiana, Maine and Minnesota.

The 32 bound delegates selected Saturday will join three unbound delegates appointed because of their positions as high-ranking state Republican party officials.

Paul has not sanctioned a disruptive approach to the Tampa convention, and his campaign declined to comment on his supporters’ plans for the weekend in Nebraska.

Anticipating a heated state gathering, Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson and Republican Liberty Caucus Chair Laura Ebke issued a joint statement Monday asking participants to adhere to the “Nebraska Way.”

“It’s honesty. Being cordial and neighborly. Practicing the Golden Rule. And, when differences occur, shaking hands and agreeing to disagree in a respectful way,” the statement said.

Both pledged they wouldn’t encourage “dilatory or disruptive tactics.” The statement also announced the Nebraska Republican Party would rescind a plan to increase its security presence during the convention.

Regardless of the outcome in Nebraska, Paul will have a presence in Tampa one day before the convention opens, during an event at the University of Florida’s Sun Dome. Various Libertarian organizations will also hold rallies.

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morgan.little@latimes.com

Twitter: @mlittledc

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