Ron Paul organizer Ryan Davidson will be a delegate to the Idaho State GOP convention, but his plan to take over the June meeting and deliver Idaho’s delegates to Paul rather than Mitt Romney appears at serious risk.
Paul forces were counting on Idaho’s two largest counties as the key to their strategy, but Ada County’s GOP voted Thursday to require state delegates to back Romney. Romney won all 32 national delegates at the March GOP presidential caucus.
“My position is that it’s completely illegal,” Davidson said Friday, adding that he may attempt to overturn the decision at the state convention in Twin Falls that begins June 21.
Davidson was elected as a Legislative District 16 delegate. He lost his bid to be a state committeeman to Dave Shurtleff, part of a slate of precinct committeemen loyal to Romney and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.
Davidson said perhaps a third of the Ada delegates may be willing to support an alternative to Otter’s choice as party chairman.
Dwight Johnson, a Romney-Otter loyalist, was reelected as Ada County chairman without opposition.
In Canyon County, state Sen. Melinda Smyser of Parma was elected chairman Wednesday. She defeated former Libertarian Maurice Clements, who last week lost a bitter challenge to Sen. Patti Anne Lodge of Huston by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin.
Smyser said her aim is unity. “We’re going to keep Canyon County the Republican stronghold that it is.”
Smyser, who is leaving the Senate to become an aide to U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, said she spoke with Clements Friday. “We’ve got a lot to do to unify the party, defeat Barack Obama and elect Republicans,” she said.
In Canyon County, the party drew lots to select its delegation to the state convention. Said Davidson: “That seemed fair. We got some delegates.”
Dan Popkey: 377-6438