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AUGUSTA, Maine — Even before the Maine Republican Party convention kicked off in earnest Saturday morning, there was a buzz around the event.
Would GOP Chairman Charlie Webster face a backlash for apparently bending the rules to name a convention chairman ahead of time and not at the convention? Would Ron Paul supporters “take over” the convention, as Webster feared? Would what is supposed to be a party-building gathering devolve into a fractured mess?
Those questions were answered by lunchtime: Yes, yes and yes.
In extremely close votes late Saturday morning, convention-goers elected Ron Morrell, a Paul delegate, as secretary and then elected Brent Tweed, also a Paul delegate, as chairman.
Both were picked over the two candidates that were endorsed by the party establishment and the votes signaled a likely shift in how the convention would unfold.