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Rep. Ron Paul not conceding Maine vote
By Josh Lederman – 02/12/12 12:46 PM ET
Rep. Ron Paul is not conceding the GOP’s Maine caucuses, which state party officials and major networks called Saturday for rival Mitt Romney.
With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Romney has 39 percent to Paul’s 36 percent, and Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster declared Romney the winner Saturday night, following a week-long series of caucuses.
But in Washington County, where Paul had expected to perform well, the caucus was postponed until Feb. 18 due to an expected snowstorm. Washington County Republican Chairman Chris Gardner told the AP he had no idea when the caucuses were postponed that his county would no longer count toward the grand total.
“This is an outrage,” John Tate, Paul’s campaign manager, said in an email to supporters. “But our campaign is in this race to win, and will stay in it to the very end.”
Paul’s campaign has accused the local GOP of postponing the caucuses to prevent the results from being reported on Saturday, arguing that “just the votes of Washington County would have been enough to put us over the top.”
The campaign is also dismissing the notion that weather was a reasonable excuse for the caucuses to be put off.
“This is Maine we’re talking about,” Tate said. “The Girl Scouts had an event today in Washington County that wasn’t cancelled!”
Paul’s aides have maintained that the Texas congressman will wind up with the most delegates from Maine, despite Romney’s apparent victory Saturday night. Maine’s caucuses are non-binding, and delegates are selected at a state convention in May.
“We were a little bit disappointed last night,” Paul said Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation. “But we were disappointed that the one county where we have done the best in the past, and we were expected to do the best, they canceled their caucus.”