Des Moines, Iowa — A surprise at the Iowa GOP State Convention.
Rick Santorum won the majority of the Iowa Caucus votes in January, Mitt Romney was a very close second, with fewer than 1000 votes between them, and Ron Paul was third.
But Ron Paul has been selected as the winner at the Iowa GOP state Convention.
Current Republicans in office urged Republicans to rally behind Mitt Romney. Senator Chuck Grassley said making Romney president would “save this country.”
Grassley warned Obama would be “more destructive” in a second term.
At the end of his 12-minute speech, Grassley said Romney would help the country “find its way again” and Republicans need to “unite to save America” and help Romney carry Iowa in November. Congressman Steve King echoed Grassley’s thoughts.
But — in the end, Ron Paul forces won the showdown over sending a slate of Iowa delegates to the Republican National Convention who overwhelmingly support Paul rather than likely G-O-P nominee Mitt Romney. About 15-hundred delegates at the state convention in Des Moines narrowly split on the issue, with the Ron Paul coalition garnering about 100 votes more than another coalition that had hoped to send a different, “unity slate” of Iowans to Tampa.
Those on the losing side, like Polk County Republican Party co-chairman Dave Funk, questioned whether the group of Paul backers who will be representing Iowa Republicans at the national convention are Republicans.
Marlys Popma, a long-time G-O-P activist, says many the Ron Paul supporters who’re going to the national convention don’t have a history of voting in Iowa elections.
Patrick McQueery of Black Hawk County responded.
The Democrats held their convention on Saturday too, although it was much less dramatic.
RadioIowa contributed to this report.