U.S. Rep. Ron Paul speaks to supporters during a caucus party at the Courtyard Marriott in Ankeny on Jan. 3. (David Purdy/The Register)
The majority of Iowans on the list to go to Tampa for the GOP national convention could be aligned with Ron Paul, a presidential candidate who represents a movement focused on limited government and constitutional principles.
Of the 13 delegates and 13 alternates elected today for the national convention, just one has publicly endorsed Mitt Romney for president – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. And just three others publicly supported Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses but is no longer in the race.
The national delegate slate is far from finalized yet, but if the Paul trend in the Iowa delegation continues, the upshot will be that the Iowa caucuses essentially had three winners: Romney on caucus night, Santorum after the certified vote, and Paul in the delegate count.
Some Iowa Republicans worry the upheaval could endanger their first-in-the-nation voting status. Iowa has long been on shaky ground, and the added criticism emboldens the argument that the Republican National Committee should strip Iowa of its coveted role as the central presidential testing grounds.
The at-large delegates nominated today are: Branstad; U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley; Margaret Stoldorf of Red Oak; Michelle Bullock of Ankeny; James Mills of Nora Springs; Steven Anders of Council Bluffs; Roger Leahy of Fairfield; Mark Hansen of Council Bluffs; William Johnson of Dubuque; Lexy Nuzum of Winterset; Andrea Bie of Waterville; David Fischer of Altoona; and Drew Ivers of Webster City.
Ten of the 13 have expressed public support for Paul, such as by donating money or volunteering for his campaign.
The alternate delegates are Cody Hoefert, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Ruth Long, Sam Clovis, Jeff Jorgensen, Steve Sukup, Lisa Smith, state Sen. Brad Zaun, David Wiederstein, Mike Gresham, Jenifer Bowen, John Bowery, Tracee Knapp, and Therese Davis.
Hoefert, Clovis and Sukup publicly endorsed Santorum. Bowen is the executive director of Iowa Right to Life, whose board declined to endorse a candidate, but many other anti-abortion groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List, were aligned with Santorum.
The slate goes before state convention. It can be amended to replace certain delegates before a final up or down vote.
Six of the eight members of the nominating committee voting on delegates today have public ties to Paul’s campaign and his philosophy of limited government. But they insisted that they elected people they believe are politically active and good Republicans – and have no idea who the delegates will back in Tampa. Iowa’s 28 delegates are “unbound,” meaning they aren’t required to vote for a nominee based on the results of the caucuses.
More at: Ron Paul backers dominate Iowa GOP nominees for national convention | Des Moines Register Staff Blogs