FALMOUTH — As the seating of 40 Maine delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention is contested by fellow state Republicans, one of the contested delegates, Falmouth resident John Logan Jones, said the challenge is “a purely political move, without precedent.”
On July 28, prominent Maine Republicans Peter Cianchette and Jan Martens Staples filed a challenge to the delegates, who all are supporters of former GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
Cianchette is the state chairman for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and Staples represents Maine on the Republican National Committee.
Jones is a political newcomer who is running as the GOP nominee for state representative in House District 112, which covers most of Falmouth. In May, he was elected one of Maine’s 15 at-large delegates to the national convention in Tampa later this month.
“I fully intend to be in Tampa,” Jones said. “We were duly elected, and I’m confident we’ll all be seated.”
The challenge to the delegates claims that rules regarding quorum, credentialing and ballot security were broken at the state convention, and so the election of the Paul supporters is invalid.
But the challenge is “not about the rules, and not about Ron Paul, but about people who didn’t get their way,” Jones said.
“We had an unconventional convention, and some people didn’t like it.”
He said the lack of grounds for the challenge is demonstrated by the fact that the election of at-large delegate Gov. Paul LePage is not being contested.
Meanwhile, an online petition supporting the choice of delegates has collected approximately 1,000 signatures, according to Jones.
The petition will be presented to the Republican National Committee, whose Contest Committee will hear the challenge in about a week. That committee finding may be challenged before the party’s Credentials Committee, or even before the full convention, which gets underway Aug. 27.