National GOP committee upholds election of Oklahoma delegates

The Republican National Committee's committee on contests determined that proper procedures were used to elect 25 delegates and alternates at the Oklahoma state GOP convention in May. State delegates who claimed proper rules weren't followed are appealing.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: August 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm •  Published: August 14, 2012
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Procedures used to select 25 Oklahoma delegates and alternates to this month's Republican National Convention have been backed by a panel of the national GOP committee, but the dispute isn't over.

Some of those who say state convention rules weren't followed and selected a different slate of delegates said Monday they are objecting to the preliminary findings of the Republican National Committee's contest committee report. They said they will file an official protest to get the findings reviewed, which will happen just days before the national convention begins Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla.

“All we've been trying to do this whole time is uphold the rules,” said Steve Dickson, a precinct chairman and state delegate who is working on challenging the contest committee's findings. “We are simply doing this to try to get the party to recognize officially that the rules were violated.”

Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell said the contest committee's findings recognize the delegates and alternates who were elected during the May 12 state convention as those to be recognized at the national convention.

State vote questioned

Dickson and others complained that Oklahoma Republican Party officials violated party rules by failing to have a roll-call vote on the proposed national delegates selected by the party's executive committee. A group of state delegates, most of them supporters of Ron Paul's presidential bid, voted against adjourning the May 12 state convention and met outside the Embassy Suites Hotel in Norman after the convention and elected their own slate of 25 delegates and alternates to the national convention.

The outdoor gathering concluded a day of efforts by supporters of Paul, a Texas congressman, a group that numbered several hundred. They used various parliamentary procedures to contest rules and booed Gov. Mary Fallin when she urged the approximately 1,400 state delegates to back former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who since has gained enough delegates to be the presumptive GOP presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention, scheduled for Aug. 27-30.

The Paul supporters submitted their own slate of delegates and alternates, since called the Conservative Values delegation. But they failed to get enough votes to amend convention rules to let delegates vote on both slates; a paper ballot vote on whether to amend convention rules showed that 60 percent of the delegates opposed considering the alternative slate.

“That pretty much set the stage,” Pinnell said. “It was very clear where the majority of delegates stood.”

Marc Nuttle, elected by the delegates as convention chairman, allowed for a standing vote of the national delegates because it was the only slate to be considered.

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