CARSON CITY – Ron Paul supporter and national committeeman-elect James Smack said today he expects Nevada Republicans who have supported Paul in his GOP presidential quest to back Mitt Romney when the time comes to do so.
“The thing that we have assured the (Republican National Committee) is that there may be a number of us that like Ron Paul, like the Ron Paul message, but at the end of the day our concern is getting Republicans elected in the state of Nevada,” Smack said in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program.
“Whether that Republican be the nominee Mitt Romney, or whether that Republican be Greg Brower (state Senate 15 candidate) or whomever, Dean Heller; those are the folks that, if they are leading the ticket after the primaries and after the convention, they are going to be the ones that have our support,” he said.
Paul supporters took 22 of 25 delegates at the Nevada Republican Convention earlier this year despite Romney’s strong win in the Feb. 5 nonbinding caucus. Romney took 50 percent of the caucus vote to 18 percent for Paul.
The Paul juggernaut at the convention has strained relations between the Romney campaign and the state GOP party.
Smack beat out RNC committeeman and former Gov. Bob List and RNC committeewoman, Heidi Smith lost to Diana Orrock at the convention in Sparks. They will begin their four-year terms following the Republican National Convention set for Tampa in August.
Smack is currently the vice-chairman of the state Republican Party.
There has some concern expressed that the Paul delegates from Nevada won’t follow the state caucus rules and back Romney on the first ballot at the national convention as required.
Smack said he has been told by the delegates he has spoken to, many of whom he said are friends and fellow Paul supporters, that they plan on following the Nevada Republican Party Caucus rules and “voting for whoever their bound for on the first ballot.”
“So I will take them at their word and I am comfortable that they will do the job that they were elected for,” Smack said. “I think their concern is they want to have participation in platform. They want to have participation in rules. And they want to be involved in the process.”
The idea of getting to the national convention is getting some of the Ron Paul message included in the national platform going forward, he said.
Smack said he is still working to mend the rift with Nevada establishment Republicans so the party can focus on defeating President Obama in November.
“We still need to all be Republicans this fall,” he said. “We need to all get behind our primary winners and get behind our nominee. And the most important thing we need to remember is that the ‘community organizer in chief’ needs to be out of the White House January 2013. We need to keep our eye on that ball.”
Nevada is considered to be a “battleground” state in the presidential race. An NBC/Marist poll released last week shows the presidential race in Nevada is a toss-up with 48 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney.
James Smack says Nevada Republicans need to support the party’s candidates in the 2012 general election:
Smack says Nevada’s Paul delegates to the national convention will follow state GOP Party caucus rules:
Smack says Nevada Republicans need to focus on defeating President Obama: