U.S. Rep. Ron Paul supporters have filed an official protest seeking to block the seating of Louisiana delegates to the Republican presidential nomination convention submitted by the state GOP.
The protest comes because state Republican Party officials violated the party’s state bylaws and rules of the Republican National Committee “so they could hand pick the national delegates,” Charlie Davis said Thursday. He is the state organizer for the Republican presidential contender from Texas.
At stake is who will represent Louisiana later this month at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., where delegates are poised to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for president.
The challenge of 64 of Louisiana’s 89 delegates and alternates has been submitted to the Republican National Committee’s Committee on Contests.
Included is documentation of events surrounding a contentious state convention held June 2 in Shreveport to elect national convention delegates presided over by state Party chairman Roger Villeré. The state convention was dominated by Paul delegates elected in regional caucuses — 111 out of 180 delegates.
The documents allege that Villeré orchestrated “a rump convention” with a minority of convention delegates and the results are not valid.
State GOP executive director Jason Doré disputed Davis’ contention.
“We were operating under state party and national party rules. I think we are in a good spot given the situation,” Doré said. “We are confident we will be successful.”
Doré said the state party has until Monday to file its response to the Paul challenge, then the RNC’s contest committee will meet sometime next weekend to review protests filed impacting Louisiana delegates and those in four or five other states. The committee’s recommendation goes to the RNC for a decision. If the parties are unhappy, they can appeal to the credentials committee of the convention, Doré said.
At the state nomination convention, delegates who had supported the Texas congressman’s presidential bid elected and submitted to the RNC a slate of delegates.
State party leaders did not recognize the list.
The state GOP delegate list submitted prior to a July 28 deadline differed from the convention-approved list, sparking the Paul protest, Davis said.
“We are challenging anyone who is not on our slate,” said Davis.