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How Ron Paul's People Took Over A State

How Ron Paul's People Took Over A State

In Iowa, the Paul contingent made the leap into establishment politics. A model for the Republican Party — or a cautionary tale?

Rosie Gray
BuzzFeed Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2012 3:40pm EDT

State parties all over the country have been wracked this year by trench warfare between longtime insiders and insurgent Ron Paul forces. The conflict has led to litigation, physical fights, and hard feelings all around between Republican Party veterans and the libertarians who are trying to get as many delegates as they can to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. next week.

But one state has avoided the conflict. In Iowa, where the state party has undergone a true transformation. The traditional Christian-right centers of power cooperated with the libertarians when shutting them down didn't work, to the point where the national committee members wouldn't sign a document pledging their support for Mitt Romney.

The alliance led to a unique situation where the party's chairman, A.J. Spiker, comes directly from Paul's camp, and nearly all of the state's delegates will be assigned to Paul. It's all being capped off with Iowa Republican Party-sponsored breakfasts at the convention that will feature two guests: Ron and Rand Paul. And it's a sign that the Paul movement, which has had trouble reconciling itself with the Republican Party's evangelical base, has the capacity to cooperate with them.

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