Ron Paul supporters from Massachusetts who had been disqualified by Republican officials as delegates to the party’s national convention say they have reached an agreement that will allow them to send two delegates and three alternates to Tampa next week.
Seventeen Paul supporters, calling themselves Liberty delegates, were elected as delegates to the convention at Republican caucuses in Massachusetts in April, defeating backers of Mitt Romney.
The Paul supporters were ousted by party leaders after some refused to sign affidavits pledging to support Romney, filed those forms late, or rewrote them.
After several of their appeals were rejected by Republican Party leaders, the Paul delegates appealed once again to a party committee in Tampa on Sunday.
In exchange for the Paul delegates dropping their appeal, the party agreed to allow five of them to attend the convention, the Paul backers said.
“I’m really happy that somebody corrected what was wrong,” said Evan Kenney, an 18-year-old from Wakefield who represented the Paul delegates during their appeal in Tampa. “They did the right thing.”
Republican Party officials could not immediately confirm the number of Paul supporters who had been reinstated, but said a decision was reached “based on input from both sides.”
“I am just happy to go to Tampa and do what I was elected to do at the statewide caucus,” Carol Claros, another Paul supporter, said in a statement released by the Liberty delegates.
Though Paul is no longer campaigning for the Republican nomination, his supporters still hope that a strong presence will carry the Texas congressman’s libertarian message and influence the party’s platform.
Party leaders have been concerned that the Paul supporters will create a distraction and diminish the focus on Romney.
The Paul activists, however, say that they do not intend to cause a ruckus.
Kenney said he views it as his legal and moral obligation to vote for Romney at the convention, given that Romney won the Republican primary in Massachusetts.
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