NORMAN, Okla. — Republicans have no fear of President Obama winning Oklahoma in November but there was plenty of fighting within the party at the state convention in Norman, Saturday.
Ron Paul supporters were out in full force but they failed to get their slate of delegates elected to the national convention.
Chaos broke out when they felt the convention rules weren’t followed regarding delegate credentials, voting procedures and convention adjournment.
The fireworks included claims from Paul supporters that Mitt Romney supporters had verbally and physically attacked them.
Even Governor Fallin was booed when she encouraged delegates to support the presumed nominee, Romney.
“We certainly are open to everyone who wants to attend that party but I do think it’s important for people to be respectful of a process,” the Governor said Monday.
“The reason it got rowdy is because of the blatant disregard for the rules,” Paul supporter Jerry Essary said.
Essary said fellow Paul supporters were outraged when delegates were not elected by roll call or ballot, as the rules state.
Instead, a standing vote determined delegates.
Paul supporters took the convention outside after it ended in controversy.
“Since the rules were not held at all, it didn’t give anybody hope that the Republican party is following the rules,” Essary said. “The Ron Paul people are going to stay active in this. We’re in this fight. We’re going to remove the old guard. We are for liberty. We are for sound money. We are for incorrupt, small government.”
State Republican Chairman Matt Pinnell said it was the Embassy Suites hotel that halted the convention at 5 p.m., which compelled Paul supporters to hold their own convention outside.
“I’m not saying it was the cleanest convention that we could have put on but a clear majority prevailed,” Pinnell said.
He said a second standing vote was held and the majority prevailed again in selecting 25 delegates from several campaigns to go to the Republican National Convention.
Pinnell said Ron Paul will have nine delegates going to the RNC from the district level, but because Paul did not get 15 percent of the Oklahoma vote on Super Tuesday, he does not have automatic delegate votes.
“Ron Paul delegates are going to Tampa Bay from the district level and we actually have a couple on our slate as well,” Pinnell said. “But the majority of them, yes, are the folks that supported the majority of people that voted on Super Tuesday, and I think the registered Republicans that voted in Oklahoma would like to know that.”
Both Essary and Pinnell pointed out that the big picture is defeating President Obama in November.