The attempt to overturn the results of the March Idaho GOP presidential caucus won by Mitt Romney appears to have failed.
A slate of Romney loyalists won 78 precinct committeeman contests Tuesday, enough to control Ada County Republican Central Committee. The committee has a maximum of 145 members; five seats remain vacant, either because no candidate filed or write-in candidates failed to get the necessary five votes.
Ron Paul supporter Ryan Davidson was leading the effort to reverse the decision made by 45,000 caucus-goers. Davidson did not reply to a request for comment Tuesday.
Earlier, Davidson said he was best organized in Ada County. Results around the state may differ, but Davidson's strategy requires that county committees elect a majority of delegates to attend the state convention in June and then win a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules and award Romney's 32 delegates to Paul. The Paul campaign subsequently condemned the plan, which now looks nearly impossible to pull off without Ada County.
The establishment pushed back with former GOP Gov. Phil Batt endorsing a slate of 121 candidates in 20,000 post cards mailed in the final days of the campaign. Among those organizing on behalf of the slate was former lawmaker Debbie Field, who managed both of Gov. Butch Otter's campaigns for governor, and Tana Cory, a member of Otter's cabinet.
Among the 78 winners on the Batt-Otter slate was Cheryl Hodges in Precinct 1513 in West Boise, where she defeated prominent Paul supporter Lucas Baumbach, 54-32. Baumbach was the creator of the famous Barack Obama-Vaughn Ward mashup video that helped now-U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador defeat Ward in the 2010 primary.
Baumbach said he hasn't given up.
"My seat was targeted because I am an effective reformer in the GOP," Baumbach said. "I worked hard while a member of the county party and I continue to support reformers like (District 15 House nominee) Mark Patterson instead of the good old boy system. But I am happy to say that my efforts won't slow a bit. I have big plans for the next two years."
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