Evan Kenney had just turned 18 and registered to vote for the first time when he campaigned to be an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention. Lauding Ronald Reagan’s principles and blasting Keynesian economics at the Lynnfield caucus in April, the Wakefield High School senior beat out several well-known Massachusetts Republicans, including the party’s most recent nominee for governor, Charles D. Baker Jr.
But earlier this month, Kenney was one of 17 delegates and alternates disqualified by a Republican committee deciding who gets to represent Massachusetts Republicans at the national convention in Tampa. Kenney and others had failed to deliver in time an affidavit swearing, under the penalty of perjury, that they would support Mitt Romney’s nomination for president.
An affidavit is never mentioned in the Republican Party’s rules for selecting delegates and has never been required of delegates in the past, GOP critics say. Suspicions are steep this year because Kenney and the others are supporters of Ron Paul, the libertarian candidate whose quixotic campaign for president culminated in an effort to take over state caucuses nationwide. The delegates must vote for Romney, based on his strong primary win in Massachusetts, but Paul’s supporters hope to use the convention to draw attention to his agenda, including auditing the Federal Reserve and requiring wars to be declared by Congress.
In Massachusetts, Paul’s Liberty Slate swept the Republican caucuses in April, stealing delegate spots that were expected to go to Romney’s friends and allies, whom he had selected. Massachusetts, a state dominated by Democrats and typically marginalized at national Republican events, could have an unusual share of the limelight at this year’s convention, since its former governor is the party’s expected presidential nominee.
Read More at boston.com. By Stephanie Ebbert.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)