The state convention was held in Rochester, Minnesota and there were 14 delegates to be awarded and supporters of John McCain won them all
Reports show that the day was rancorous and at one point a John McCain supporters and a Ron Paul supporter actually got into a shoving match.
Some of Paul's backers complained that party officials unfairly stacked its slate of preferred candidates, a vetting process defended by party chairman Ron Carey. Serving as a national convention delegate "is not an entry-level job," he said. "We looked at people who truly had quality, not just people who raised their hand at the last minute."
Among the GOP heavyweights elected as national delegates were U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and state House Minority Leader Marty Seifert of Marshall.
Paul was banned from speaking at the state convention, so Paul spoke to his supporters outside the Mayo Civic Center prior to the opening of the Republican state convention.
Ron Carey, the chair of the Minn. GOP explained Paul's exclusion as "consistent with our party's rules
," adding that "We have our presumptive nominee."
In other states, Paul supporters fought "tooth and nail" to get Paul a speaking role at the National Convention, but with the end drawing near and with John McCain holding enough delegates, Paul supporters while still insisting Paul would be the best, have seemed to have mellowed because as Carey points out, "In other states, they fought tooth and nail. Here, it was over and done with in five minutes."
Carey was conciliatory -- somewhat -- toward Paul's supporters. "We want the Ron Paul people to be part of the party -- they are part of the party. But the game's been played, and it was won by McCain."
Paul supporters understand there is no chance of Ron Paul being elected as the Republican candidate for presidency, but they continue to rally behind their candidate in a loyal manner.
The last word
goes to a former state representative, Fran Bradley, who said to Paul supporters, "You had your shot. What happened is the will of the majority and it's time to move on."
A valiant battle was fought, but some candidates just do not "catch fire" with the majority, as happened in Paul's case.