That wasnt enough. Ruedrich said as far as he knows, never have so many Republican delegates some 480 turned out for a state party convention. Every legislative district was represented, which he also believes is a first. The Paul supporters tried to engineer the convention to claim delegates for the national convention but couldnt out maneuver the old guard led by Ruedrich. An email sent out Thursday by someone who said he was with the Paul camp urged like-minded Republicans to do whatever it took to win.
This is a numbers game. If more of Dr. Pauls supporters turn out than other candidates delegates, we control them, said the email, signed by someone who identified himself as Mike Cook. If more of our people show up, we take over the state convention, we change the rules, and we take over the Republican Party. Turnout is key.
The organizer asked for Paul supporters to provide their cellphone numbers so that leaders could text them during the convention and make sure they voted as a bloc.
Deception and Misinformation use any means necessary to divide and conquer our opponents, Thursdays email said.
The emails authenticity couldnt be determined, but the convention largely played out along its script. Under national Republican Party rules, if a presidential candidate can secure the support of delegates from five states at the national convention, they can attempt to win the nomination even if they havent won a single state primary or poll, Ruedrich said. That would give Paul, who at best has made it to second or third place in state primaries, at least a theoretical shot at winning the nomination.
We were fortunate last night just to get the election finished, he said. It was a tedious election process. Things ran slow. In the end, the number of Alaska delegates pledged to presidential candidates didnt change from what Republicans decided in their March presidential preference poll, Ruedrich said. That was the biggest fight, Ruedrich said.
Paul was the only Republican presidential candidate to visit Alaska before the the March poll. He placed a close third behind Romney and Rick Santorum, who each have eight delegates. Newt Gingrich ended with two.
(Reporter Casey Grove contributed to this story.)