Ron Paul wins here where it counts GOP hopeful takes county convention despite defeats in primary, caucus It appears that solid strategy and a well-organized grassroots campaign put Ron Paul on top at the Whatcom County Republican Party convention this weekend. While there are no hard figures yet, county GOP Chairman Chet Dow said it appears that Paul received the majority of delegates who will be sent to the summer state convention in Spokane. From there, delegates will be selected for the national convention. How did that happen when Paul had neither the most delegates from the county caucuses nor the primary in February? "One word: organization," Dow said. There were several factors, Dow said. One was that people who had pledged to represent another candidate during the caucuses didn’t all show up to the county convention, changing the mix. Then, at the county convention, people didn’t vote for a candidate, they voted for the delegate to send to the convention. Dow said some people seeking to be a delegate didn’t state their candidate preference, although most did. The Paul campaign appears to have created a strong voting bloc, Dow said. Other strategies that also paid off: The convention went so long — 9 a.m. to after 11 p.m. Saturday — that Paul supporters dug in their heels, and when others began going home, they stayed and maintained a strong presence. The 40th District caucus at the convention was small, and the Paul supporters were able to elect people supporting their delegate to all six delegate positions from that area. Dow said he was pleased with how the convention turned out, and he was impressed with the Paul supporters. "They’re happy. They should be happy," he said. "They should be proud of what they have accomplished." Ron Paul backers succeed in guerilla takeover of some GOP caucuses By Jo Mannies POST-DISPATCHPOLITICAL CORRESPONDENT 03/18/2008 The result: Paul's supporters predict they have snagged roughly a third of the 2,137 state Republican delegates. Those delegates will determine the state GOP platform this spring and help select the presidential delegates to the national Republican presidential convention in Minneapolis in September. The unorthodox push, which sparked shouting matches in some meetings, reflected Paul's campaign — an anti-establishment, grass-roots movement built on passion. "This is a movement for change in the long term," said Ruth Carlson, a 24-year-old secretary from St. John who helped organize Saturday's push in the St. Louis area. At many of Saturday's caucuses, the Paul contingents also won approval for some of their man's key positions, including resolutions for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and against the federal Patriot Act and warrantless wiretaps. But the most politically explosive resolution called for repealing the Missouri Republican Party requirement that all of the state's 58 GOP presidential delegates back the victor in the Feb. 5 primary: U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., now the presumptive presidential nominee. In Missouri's presidential contest, Paul obtained less than 5 percent of the statewide Republican vote. Missouri leaders of Saturday's pro-Paul effort insist that they're not driven by a quest to resurrect his chances for the White House. Carlson and other Paul supporters say their aim is to force the Missouri Republican Party to embrace Paul's principles. "We're not holding out an illusion that Ron is going to win the nomination," said Debbie Hopper, Paul's national field director. "This is about calling the Republican Party back to its roots." Hopper — who lives in Fenton and was herself elected a delegate Saturday at a caucus in St. Louis County — cited other caucus successes by pro-Paul supporters in other states, including Nevada, Colorado and Washington. But Missouri Republican officials plan to fight back. State Republican Party Executive Director Jared Craighead said party leaders will be examining the lists of caucus-goers, and of the newly elected state delegates. He contends that some of the Paul activists involved in the caucuses were really Democrats or Libertarians who should be tossed off. However, St. Louis city Republican Chairwoman Judy Zakibe joined Bennett in asserting that some of the blame lies with Republican elected officials and party activists who stayed home Saturday. "Our people didn't come out," Zakibe said. "That's what cost us." But Bennett accused the Paul forces of deception. At the St. Charles County caucus, Paul backers did not identify themselves as such. Instead they promoted a group of proposed delegates they called the Conservative Values slate. "They went out of their way not to use 'Ron Paul,'" Bennett said. "Intellectually they were dishonest about their reasons." Still, Bennett had to appreciate their success: "I'll hand them kudos for being activists. I'll hand them kudos for being organized." Brent Stafford, a computer analyst from O'Fallon who headed the pro-Paul forces in St. Charles County, gave credit to his side's stealth preparations, which included mock caucuses. Whatever happens, organizer Carlson said Saturday's victories should prove that Republican Party leaders can't ignore Ron Paul, his views or his supporters. She added with a chuckle: "We're not just a bunch of people on the Internet. We show up."