Texas Congressman Ron Paul emerged from the Minnesota state Republican Party convention in St. Cloud with a clean sweep, winning nearly all the national convention delegates available for his presidential campaign in addition to a party endorsement of the Paul-aligned U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Paul’s campaign organized at the precinct, congressional, and state levels to win the 13 delegates chosen May 19 at the state convention. One Paul-aligned prospective delegate graciously stepped aside — resulting in Paul garnering 12 of the 13 available slots — so local Congresswoman and former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann could attend the Tampa national convention as a delegate.
Overall, including delegates won prior to the state convention, the Paul campaign has claimed 32 of the 40 national delegates selected in Minnesota, a state where Paul had handily lost the caucus to Rick Santorum.
But winning over GOP presidential delegates is only part of Paul’s agenda. He intends to influence local political races, in addition to independents and Democrats. “There is a revolution in ideas going on,” Representative Paul told the audience to raucous applause in a May 18 evening speech, “and isn’t a narrow revolution. It isn’t just a conservative group in the Republican Party. It’s much, much bigger than this. I am convinced that we have good support in the Republican Party for liberty ideas. But I am convinced … for every vote we get in the Republican primaries that there are at least two votes who are independent or even Democrats who will look at these serious principles of limited government, personal liberty, less war and doing something with the Federal Reserve system.”
While Paul’s presidential nomination by the GOP is not likely to happen, his movement has seen stunning successes in congressional primaries and nomination of state party leadership. “I was glad to see my son win,” Paul told the audience. “And I’d be glad to see Kurt Bills win.” Bills had received the endorsement of Congressman Ron Paul as well as the endorsement of Paul’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Minnesota State House Speaker Kurt Zellers had also thrown his political weight behind Bills.