NV delegates defy rules, vote for Ron Paul - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

NV delegates defy rules, vote for Ron Paul

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Ron Paul supporters in the Nevada delegation Ron Paul supporters in the Nevada delegation

There was a political shake-up on the floor of the Republican National Convention Tuesday when Nevada's delegation cast more votes for Ron Paul than caucus winner Mitt Romney.

Many anticipated the outcome since the Nevada delegation is mostly comprised of Paul supporters.

On Tuesday afternoon, states and their delegates gathered for the official nomination roll call. It was a procedure mostly uneventful, until six states - including Nevada - pushed ahead with votes for Paul.

Those states tried unsuccessfully to enter Paul's name for a nomination vote prior to the roll call. The support for Paul was obvious in the Silver State's delegation. One member even held up a Paul banner as the vote was announced.

"We proudly cast 17 votes for Ron Paul, five abstentions and five for Romney," announced Nevada's delegation, with very little enthusiasm for saying Romney's name.

The state GOP chairman, Michael McDonald, was not present to cast his vote.

Delegates ignored party rules that required the state to cast 20 votes for Romney and eight for Paul.

In February's caucus, Romney won half of the state's vote, commanding the majority of delegates.

At the Nevada GOP convention in May, however, 22 Republican delegates selected to attend the national convention openly supported Paul, while just three supported Romney, who was the presumptive nominee at the time.

"I don't think it's going to impact Nevada for the Romney campaign," said Darren Littell, communications director for Team Nevada. "I think we're going to come out of this convention united and together."

State Republican leaders are downplaying the rebellious vote. Romney's Nevada advisor, who is in Tampa for the convention, believes the Paul supporters will eventually come around and rally behind the former Massachusetts governor.

"This is about looking forward, and there were people on the floor who supported Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul or a host of other candidates - and the vast majority are coming together behind Mitt Romney," said Ryan Erwin, Romney's Nevada adviser.

However, late Tuesday night, the state's party leadership called the move "extremely unfortunate."

"The Nevada Republican Party wants to be very clear that these actions were the decisions of the delegation members, and were not sanctioned in any way by the Nevada Republican Party leadership," Nevada Republican Party Secretary Jim DeGraffrenreid said.

"[The Executive Board of the Nevada Republican Party disavows] this action by certain members of the Nevada delegation," Vice Chairman James Smack added. "The actions of an unruly few should not color the entire state party, and we share the frustration of all Nevada Republicans by the actions taken by a delegation that chose not to follow the rules."

The Nevada Democratic Party also fired a shot following the vote, saying, "Today's snub by the Nevada delegation only further highlights how out of touch Mitt Romney is with Nevada's middle class."

Romney easily won the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday with more than 2,000 votes.

FOX5 reached out to Paul's Nevada campaign manager in Tampa, but our calls were not returned.

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