Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says he plans to appeal for unity this weekend at the Iowa Republican Party convention, where Ron Paul loyalists who have taken over the party’s management structure could end up clashing with other GOP members.
According to the Des Moines Register, supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign now dominate the state party’s top positions and have put together a slate of at-large delegates to the national GOP convention this August in Tampa made up primarily of Paul supporters.
Some Republicans are threatening to send a different set of Iowa delegates to the convention because they fear the Paul people won’t vote to support Mitt Romney as the party’s nominee in the election against President Barack Obama.
“I am going to have a message to all of the delegates, not just to the Paul people, that we have to join arms in order to win this election and carry Iowa,” Grassley told reporters Wednesday.
But calming words from the state’s senior Republican may not make a difference.
“There has been talk of establishing a vote of no-confidence [in the Paul loyalists] if changes aren’t made,” Mark LeRette, chairman of the Muscatine County GOP, told the Register. “What’s happening right now is having a negative effect on the party and, by association, is having a negative effect on our work.”
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