Romney carries half of Mo. delegates at stake
BY AP Wire Service
Sunday, April 22, 2012
4/22/12 at 5:31 AM
SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney prevailed Saturday in Missouri's regional GOP conventions, as some former supporters of Rick Santorum switched allegiances in what they characterized as a show of party unity.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, carried half of the 24 delegates being decided at Missouri's congressional district conventions. But the results also ensured that Missouri's delegation will have mixed loyalties when it arrives at the Republican National Convention in August.
Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who suspended his presidential campaign this month, won seven Missouri delegates. Four delegates went to Texas Congressman Ron Paul and one to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Most of the rest of Missouri's 52 delegates will be decided at a state party convention in June.
Santorum had carried every county in Missouri when he won the Feb. 7 nonbinding presidential primary, for which he was the only candidate to campaign. But Romney was able to prevail Saturday because some former Santorum backers threw their support to him.
"It has crushed many of us that Rick has quit," said Bill Kartsonis, of Lake Winebago. He added: "So I will, with much heartfelt twisting, now be a Romney delegate."
Kartsonis was part of a "unity slate" of new Romney converts that won at 4th District convention in Sedalia. They defeated an alternative slate that would have allotted one delegate each to Romney, Santorum and Paul.
Romney similarly picked up all three delegates from southeast Missouri's 8th District. Paul won all three delegates from the 5th District in the Kansas City area. At each of the other regional conventions, the delegates were split among two or three presidential candidates.
The roughly 2,000 Republicans who participated in the regional conventions were elected earlier at county and township caucuses.
Original Print Headline: Missouri 'unity slate' switches to Romney