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Romney wins Disputed Jefferson County Republican Party Presidential Straw Poll

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Romney wins Disputed Jefferson County Republican Party Presidential Straw Poll

By Brandon Moseley

The Jefferson County Republican Party held a Presidential Straw Poll and Candidate’s forum at the Trussville Civic Center Saturday. Over 350 Republicans crowded into the Civic Center for food, fun, fellowship, and old fashioned campaigning

State Representative Jim Carnes spoke on behalf of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s Alabama Campaign.  “Newt Gingrich has the courage and the convictions to be President and to be the leader of the free world. Voters need to look at his record and at his vision. Newt Gingrich is the candidate for President with the ability to plan and the ability to work his plan.”

In exclusive comments to “The Alabama Political Reporter’ George Singleton who is running as a Newt Gingrich delegate said, “The reasons I am supporting Gingrich is national defense and jobs.” “I agree with his economic policies and the first purpose of having government is defense.”

Former Alabama Republican Party Chairman Marty Connors spoke for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign.  Chairman Connors said, “For the Republicans to beat Barack Obama and take control of the Senate the Republicans need to nominate a candidate that can win the tossup states.” Chairman Connors said that the Republicans need to win Senate contests in at least eight tossup states: Michigan, Nevada, Montana, Florida, Virginia, and Massachusetts. “If you want to win the Senate you need to nominate somebody who can win the swing states. Mitt Romney is the best candidate to do that.”

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Chairman Connors said, “If you support gun rights.  Nobody supports gun rights more than Ted Nugent and Ted Nugent endorsed Mitt Romney.” Connors said that Mitt Romney represents right to work states like Alabama.  Alabama is the number three auto manufacturing state in the country. “If you are Pro-Life, Mitt Romney vetoed embryonic stem cell research in Massachusetts.”  “John Bolton endorsed Mitt Romney.” “If you support border security, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Az.) has endorsed Mitt Romney.”  “There are three reasons to vote for Mitt Romney for President.  One is the economy.  Mitt is the only candidate with private sector experience. Two is stability.  Mitt Romney has been married to Ann Romney for 40 years.  He won’t come up with a new idea every day.  The third reason to support Romney is electability.  He is the Republican candidate who can win the tossup states.”

Debby Bailey spoke on behalf of the Rick Santorum campaign.  “This is the most important election in our lifetime.  Rick Santorum is strong on life, strong on liberty, and strong on border security.  Rick Santorum will give power back to the states.  He is the only candidate with an A++ lifetime rating from the NRA. As a Senator, Santorum supported the Sportsman Privacy Protection Act. Rick Santorum has the best rating of any candidate in this race on border security.  Rick Santorum is not an isolationist. Of the Republican Senators, Rick Santorum was notable as one of the most fiscally conservative.  We hope you will support Rick Santorum He is the candidate who can beat Barack Obama in the fall.

Ron Paul had volunteers handing out literature but his campaign did not have a spokesperson present.

Gov. Mitt Romney won the straw poll with 89 votes.  Speaker Newt Gingrich came in a very close second with 87 votes.  Senator Santorum came in a very close third with 84 votes. Ron Paul had 22 votes.

The Santorum Campaign was not happy with how the straw poll was run.  Santorum volunteer Richard Rutledge claimed that Jefferson County Republicans told Santorum supporters that they could not vote in the straw poll if they were not Jefferson County registered voters.  “Our supporters are the only ones that they told that.” Rutledge said that at least 15 were turned away because they did not live in Jefferson County and they could have brought another 25.  Santorum campaign worker, Bob Crawford said “There were a lot of discrepancies in what we were told.”

Rutledge said, “I don’t mind losing in a fair contest but this was not a fair contest.”

No one told this reporter that voting was supposed to be limited to Jefferson County Voters and nobody asked which county I was from when they took my money. I and my associate are both St. Clair County voters.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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