KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)- Ron Paul supporters picked the majority of delegates Saturday during caucuses in Jackson County and the city of St. Louis as the state’s complicated selection process continued.
Party officials said Ron Paul supporters picked all 36 of the St. Louis delegates and about two-thirds of Jackson County’s 179 delegates. The remaining Jackson County delegates support Mitt Romney.
Most Missouri counties caucused last weekend, but Jackson County and St. Louis decided to push their caucuses back, partly to avoid interfering with St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The only remaining caucus is a do-over in St. Charles County, where the first effort to pick delegates was so rowdy it had to be adjourned early.
There is no declared winner yet because state party rules do not require delegates to be bound to any particular candidate. Instead, the 2,123 people picked in the local caucuses will advance to April 21 congressional district conventions and the June 2 state convention. It’s at those meetings that the bulk of Missouri’s 52 delegates will be bound to presidential candidates.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that about 300 people attended the caucus at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. Across the state, about 1,000 registered voters showed up at the Jackson County caucus at Lee’s Summit High School, said Jackson County GOP Treasurer Richard Plackemeier.
Jackson County GOP Committeewoman Erin Dunn said Paul and Romney supporters worked together to develop a brokered slate because neither side had a majority. Dunn, herself a Paul supporter who was picked as one of the delegates, said she was generally pleased with how the situation played out in both caucus locations.
“Ron Paul people are very dedicated and very well-educated about the process,” she said. “That is the whole strategy, be educated about the process, know the rules, follow the rules and win based on that.”
Although Rick Santorum won Missouri’s presidential primary in February, that election didn’t count toward awarding any delegates to the Republican National Convention. Instead, the state party opted for caucuses to avoid getting penalized by the national Republican Party for holding its primary earlier than specified under party rules.
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