CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are bringing their Republican presidential campaigns to West Virginia, to sway those attending Tuesday’s state GOP convention.
Romney and Huckabee each plan to appeal personally for the 18 national delegates up for grabs at the convention, their campaigns said Monday.
Ron Paul announced earlier that he would also attend the Charleston convention. Front-runner John McCain is sending former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer to speak on his behalf.
West Virginia’s convention is among 21 Republican primaries or caucuses being held in as many states Tuesday. More than 1,000 delegates to the GOP’s national convention will be decided. West Virginia expects to post the first results of the day.
With 1,207 party members eligible to vote at the state convention, the candidates need a simple majority to win. Romney has the most state delegates of any candidate, with 210 signed up to support the former Massachusetts governor. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, has the next-largest delegation at 138.
A Texas congressman, Paul has 95, while McCain has 15. But the leading supporters of two departed GOP candidates, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani, say they plan to back the Arizona senator Tuesday.
“We’re seeing that trend,” said Larry Swann, who’s overseeing McCain’s West Virginia efforts. “I’ve received numerous calls from Thompson and Giuliani delegates that their choice is now Sen. McCain.”
All told, 166 state convention delegates had expressed support for candidates who have since quit the race. But the largest group, 48 percent of the total, is the 583 who are uncommitted.
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