DENVER – The Ron Paul revolution at the 1st Congressional District GOP Assembly on Friday was not televised.
Members of the “Conservative Unity” slate, made up of supporters of Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, effectively swept the races for the three delegate and three alternate spots at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa.
Elected as delegates were Nancy McKiernan, Florence Sebern and Clement Koerber Jr. Alternates elected were Earl Bandy III, Elizabeth Buchanan and David Bittner.
Democracy In Action
There wasn’t much coverage of the event, as the GOP Chairman of the 1st Congressional District, Gabriel Schwartz, had the police remove members of the media. He even demanded that legal observers from campaigns be thrown out as well.
Members of the media were eventually let back in but barred from videotaping or photographing the proceedings. In a sign of the fecklessness of such a policy in the age of cell phone cameras, video of the CD1 delegate results being read was posted to YouTube and had over 1,000 views as of Sunday. (See the video here)
Multiple attendees of the event groused that Schwartz’s conduct was embarrassing the GOP.
“He was arrogant and disrespectful to both delegates and guests,” said one delegate. “Considering his conspicuous absence at other Republican events, one must ask who he is and how he was elected as our [CD1] Chairman?
Schwartz would not comment on his conduct, only that the decisions were his to make.
Also a candidate for RNC delegate at the Assembly, Schwartz was unsuccessful this year, though he was a delegate to the RNC in Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2008.
During that convention Schwartz was infamously robbed of at least $50,000 worth of property after he says he was “flattered by the attention of a beautiful woman,” who then allegedly drugged him in his hotel room and robbed him.
Though a pledged Romney delegate, the Romney campaign did not include Schwartz on their endorsed list of delegates for CD1.
It didn’t matter, as the Paul/Santorum slate’s organized and energized efforts steamrolled across the other campaigns.
An Unexpected Primary
The efforts of supporters of Ron Paul showed up in the only other race at the Assembly as well, the GOP nomination for the 1st Congressional District race against incumbent Democrat Congresswoman Diana DeGette.
Denver Republican Party Chairman Danny Stroud had volunteered to run against DeGette to ensure she didn’t run unopposed and was the only candidate declared by the day of the Assembly.
There had been talk before the Assembly that a last minute candidate might appear backed by the Ron Paul supporters and one did on the day of the vote.
Richard Murphy, who had previously told Republicans he was too busy to run for HD7, went on to receive 44% of the vote through write ins, thus creating that rare thing in Republican politics — a primary in a safe Democratic district. Candidates that receive over 30% at Assembly qualify for the primary ballot.
The final vote was Danny Stroud 56% (81 votes), Richard Murphy 44% (64 write in votes).
Prior to the vote, Stroud said he wasn’t worried about the challenge, as running for Congress is not something you can decide to do at the last minute.
“To succeed you need a vision more than a week long,” said Stroud, who won top line on the primary ballot.