Minnesota’s delegation to the Republican National Convention will not back Mitt Romney when the party gathers in Tampa this week. Instead, 32 of the state’s 40 nominating votes will be cast for Ron Paul during the roll call of states, according to —chair of the delegation.
Stebbins lives in and was elected by Minnesota’s contingent of 77 total delegates, 37 of which are alternates, as chair earlier this year. While conceding Romney would capture the GOP endorsement for U.S. President, Stebbins said her state’s delegates are “overwhelmingly Ron Paul supporters” and made clear they would vote accordingly.
“I don’t think Mitt Romney is a strong candidate,” she said. “He represents old ideas and what the party has stood for over the last couple of decades, which is not necessarily what the voters want.”
Maple Grove resident Neil Lynch, an alternate delegate at the Republican National Convention this week, sides with the Minnesota delegate majority.
“Dr. Paul has been a consistent defender of liberty and true constitutional conservatism for decades,” Lynch said. “His example has recently inspired a new generation to get involved in politics, much like the 'Reagan Revolution' did over 30 years ago.”
While there remain rank and file Republicans who are “still sore” following Ron Paul’s strong showing in Minnesota’s caucus back in February, Stebbins says she has been feeling more acceptance of late and believes many in the party recognize Ron Paul’s level of support.
“They understand that we mean the party is growing, and that there are growing pains when an organization is growing,” she said. “But we’ve brought in so many people—disaffected Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and people who had been sitting on the couch and not interested in politics. We are growing the party, and it’s not always easy when there is a conflict of ideas.”
Minnesota is not the only state in the Union sending a healthy helping of Ron Paul delegates to next week’s Republican National Convention. A large percentage of delegations from Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Maine also back Paul.
“Today's Republican Party embraces 'big government' and 'crony capitalism' nearly as much as the Democratic Party, and Governor Romney reflects that trend,” Lynch said. “While I expect him to become our nominee, I want Governor Romney to know that the new generation of the GOP demands that he adhere to the Constitution and limit the scope of government."
A deal was reportedly struck last week between Paul supporters and the Republican National Committee that would seat more Paul delegates and allow Paul’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, to speak during primetime in exchange for Paul supporters not holding up the nomination process.