A faction of the Scott County Republican Party is calling to reconvene the county convention Thursday, arguing the slate of delegates chosen earlier this month to move on to district and state conventions was selected improperly.
The state party, however, sided Tuesday with local party officials, who say the convention was conducted properly.
Michael Elliott, a coordinator for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in Scott County, said Tuesday he expects 100 to 150 delegates, possibly more, to show at 6 p.m. Thursday at Tanglewood Hills Pavilion, 4250 Middle Road, Bettendorf.
“All we’re asking is the proper rules be followed,” he said.
The dispute stems from the March 10 convention, where a slate of 123 delegates and 123 alternates were selected for the district and state conventions.
Elliott and other Paul supporters say they were shortchanged by the convention’s nominating committee and the rules weren’t followed.
Scott County GOP chair Judy Davidson said Tuesday the convention was run by the book, and there was no way to know who the delegates supported because there was no tally taken.
In a letter written to the 276 delegates and 127 alternates elected Jan. 3, Iowa GOP chairman A.J. Spiker said the county convention’s result is binding.
Spiker said the party reviewed the complaint, watched a video of the county convention and consulted with lawyers and parliamentarians before reaching a decision.
“The delegates, alternates and junior delegates elected are legitimate, as are the platform planks considered and passed. The March 22 meeting will have no binding authority,” he said in the letter, which was written Monday and sent Tuesday.
Spiker was Paul’s Iowa campaign’s vice chairman.
In an interview Tuesday, Elliott said the issue isn’t so much that Paul was shortchanged delegates but the county party isn’t following the rules.
He said there was no chance to amend the delegate slate forwarded by the nominating committee and nothing other than a reading of the prospective delegates names the day of the convention. He also said there was no vote to elect the convention’s chair and secretary.
“I’ll honorably lose in a fair fight, but let’s make it fair,” he said.
He said court action would be sought if the state party ruled against the complaint.
For her part, Davidson said the rules were followed and the convention voted to approve the delegate slate. She added the fight only helps the Democrats.
“My own feelings are that we need to focus on electing Republicans and defeating (President Barack) Obama in the fall, and that’s what we should be spending our time on. And that’s what we will be spending our time on,” she said.