Published April 01 2012
Protests don’t affect outcome of delegate slate at ND GOP conventionBISMARCK – Despite an hour of debate Saturday and nearly nine hours of tallying votes, North Dakota Republican convention-goers overwhelmingly selected the party’s 25 recommended nominees to represent them as delegates at the national convention this summer.
The ordinarily procedural decision drew a fury of objections and delays Saturday morning, after some delegates voiced concerns that the party’s recommended delegates wouldn’t fairly reflect the results of the state’s presidential caucus.
Critics said the party’s preferred nominees disproportionately favored Mitt Romney, who took third in North Dakota’s nonbinding caucus. Those objecting to the process – mostly supporters of Rick Santorum and Ron Paul – offered up a few dozen alternative nominees, who could be voted for as write-in candidates.
However, the top 25 vote-getters turned out to be the same 25 individuals the party originally recommended for the slate of delegates.
The most any write-in candidate received was 318 votes, compared to the minimum 994 votes the chosen 25 national delegates ultimately received, party officials said.
The national delegates are mostly elected officials and loyal party supporters, including U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, Rep. Rick Berg, first lady Betsy Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, NDGOP Vice-Chairman Jim Poolman and NDGOP Treasurer Robert Harms.
Former NDGOP chairman Gary Emineth – Santorum’s state chairman who chastised party officials Saturday about a “hijacked” process – was also selected as a national delegate.
Frustrated Paul supporters tried to reignite the debate at the close of the Republican convention Sunday, but NDGOP Chairman Stan Stein would not allow it.
District 47 delegate Karen Erickstad attempted to make a motion on the convention floor, but her microphone was turned off as she sought to speak.
The crowd shouted, attempting to get Stein’s attention, but he continued with a motion to close the convention over the protests.
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