For the second presidential cycle in a row, Ron Paul supporters wreaked havoc on Nevada’s GOP, threatening to take over the state party and key county positions by flooding their conventions with supporters. Now mainstream state Republicans are falling on their sword in the aftermath.
Five high-ranking members of the Clark County GOP, which includes the Las Vegas area, have resigned amid disputes with Paul supporters, who dominated a March county convention to take 13 of 14 of executive board spots and performed similarly at the state convention, securing 22 national delegates to Romney’s three. According to the Associated Press, the former Clark County GOP Vice Chairman Woody Stroupe complained the new Paul backers “have been picking fights with the RNC” — at one point they passed a resolution calling for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to resign.
National Republicans, unhappy with Nevada’s state and county GOP operation, have reportedly moved to bypass them with their own “shadow state party” out of fears they’ll derail Romney’s presidential campaign with ongoing efforts to hand the nomination to Paul, who all but ended his campaign this month.
The more contentious things get with Paul supporters, the more danger there may be of an ugly feud spilling out at the national convention, where Paul supporters are expected to have a large and visible presence thanks to similar state convention takeovers around the country. Paul has publicly called on his followers to be civil.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.