Ron Paul supporters take control of Republican caucus


Kalen Ponche
St. Louis Dispatch
March 24, 2008

St. Charles County’s Republican caucus at St. Peters City Hall was anything but typical this year.

Normally, caucuses are political formalities in which the party faithful vote on a list of delegates to send to the state convention and the congressional district caucuses.

But this year’s caucus stretched into a six-hour event after supporters of Ron Paul, a presidential nominee and Texas congressman, gained control of the caucus.Josh Stigal, a 24-year-old Republican attendee, walked out of the caucus after three hours.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said.

Although Paul received just 3.8 percent of the vote during the primary race in St. Charles County, the Paul supporters were in the majority of the 131 people who attended the March 15 caucus. They quickly elected Brent Stafford, a Paul supporter from O’Fallon, as chairman.

“They were able to garner a few more people than we were,” said Penny Bennett, member of the St. Charles Republican Central Committee. “Our people seemed to think that if they voted in the primary they didn’t need to go in the caucus.”

The Paul supporters filled 241 of the 274 delegate slots from St. Charles County. At the county-level caucuses, delegates were chosen to attend the state and congressional caucus. At these events, the attendees will help select the 55 delegates from Missouri who will go to the national GOP convention, where a presidential nominee is chosen.

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