Ron Paul has won 2 of the 3 available delegate slots in Massachusetts’s 1st District in Saturday's state caucuses.
That's right, Massachusetts, a primary state, has caucuses, and Ron Paul has emerged victorious.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on this brisk Saturday morning, Republicans of all ages from Massachusetts’s 1st District (Western Mass) gathered in Westfield’s North Middle School cafeteria to select the three delegates to represent them in the national primary process.
While all delegates are required to vote for Romney during the first round of the Tampa convention (but not during a second vote), district voters are allowed to choose whoever they want to fill those roles. Thus, there were two camps: the official Romney-approved slate, and the Ron Paul-allied Ronald Reagan Unity Liberty Slate.
Each slate put up three delegates and three alternates, and 220 attendees sat and listened to speeches from each of them before voting. The Romney slate showed a quick video of Romney’s wife congratulating her husband’s supporters, followed by the Romney candidates’ speeches. They made emotional, often angry, and desperate pleas for party unity. An older woman specifically called out the Ron Paul supporters, accusing them of undermining the democratic process. Her remarks were met with angry jeers from the crowd, as the majority Unity Liberty audience either shouted back in their defense, or merely laughed at what transpired.
Next, the Ron Paul slate gave its speeches. These candidates talked mostly about property rights, but never mentioned Ron Paul by name. The point which drew the most applause of the entire morning was one alternate’s call for putting an immediate end to the occupation of Afghanistan.
When votes were cast and counted (with witnesses from each slate), the total was: From the 193 ballots cast, Unity Liberty delegates Ronald Crochetiere (112 votes) and Marcel Burque (97 votes) won their spots. The third Ron Paul delegate, Joseph Cavallaro, lost in a close heat with a Romney delegate. However, the 13 provisional ballots may yield a clean sweep for the Ronald Reagan Unity Liberty Slate in a week’s time.
Congratulations to the Ronald Reagan Unity Liberty Slate, and good luck to similar slates across the country.
UPDATES: 5:18 PM Reports showing Ron Paul sweeps in at least 4 more districts and counting.