Texas' GOP convention will be a reunion for Ron Paul's family

The Fort Worth Star-TelegramMay 21, 2012 

— For Robert Paul, the state Republican Party's convention here this summer is more than a chance to become politically active.

It's a chance to see his family.

Paul, son of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul and a Benbrook doctor who lives in Fort Worth, didn't land a coveted delegate slot this year.

But he expects to have several relatives who will attend the convention as delegates staying at his house.

"They called me because they're looking for a place to stay, someplace cheap," Robert Paul said with a chuckle. "I'm excited about them coming up. I'll get to see them.

"I don't know who all is coming, but the more the merrier," he said. "Since [the convention is] in Fort Worth, I get to see everyone."

The Republican Party of Texas' convention, which is expected to draw up to 9,000 delegates and 9,000 alternates, will be held June 7-9 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Robert Paul's oldest brother, Ronnie, with his wife and two of their daughters, will be among the delegates.

His uncle Wayne, his dad's younger brother, who lives near Longview, will likely be here as well.

And U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Lake Jackson, the last Texan still in the presidential race, will be one of the featured speakers at the convention, party officials recently announced.

He will speak during a breakout session about "Uniting Republicans and Balancing the Federal Budget" on June 7 in the convention center's arena.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to confirm Congressman Paul's appearance at our State Convention," state GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri said in a statement.

"His breakout session will undoubtedly be one of the most highly attended special events during the three-day convention, and I know many of our delegates will be interested in hearing about his principled approach to shrinking the size of our federal government from such a major national figure in our party."

Robert Paul is preparing for a full house during the week of the convention as relatives show up to support the family patriarch in his presidential bid.

Despite lagging behind Mitt Romney in the battle for delegates, the libertarian-leaning Ron Paul -- a retired obstetrician-gynecologist -- declared last week that he's not out of the presidential race.

But he did say he's cutting back on spending and won't put more money into the remaining primaries.

At the same time, he said, he and his campaign will continue to seek delegates to represent him and his anti-war, anti-tax platform in August at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Supporters of Paul's campaign, which stresses personal liberties and limited government, are expected to be a force at state GOP conventions nationwide, as they were during his 2008 presidential bid, trying to become delegates and make it to the national convention.

They hope for a brokered convention that could open the door for Paul to become the nominee -- or at least affect the direction of the party.

"By sending a large, respectful, and professional delegation to Tampa, we will show the Party and the country that not only is our movement growing and here to stay, but that the future belongs to us," according to an internal campaign memo from strategist Jesse Benton to supporters.

Countless Paul supporters are expected to attend the Texas convention. "Everywhere he goes, he seems to get good crowds and people seem excited to hear him talk," Robert Paul said. "He's trying to educate us all, teach us that the Constitution is a good document."

This is his dad's third bid for the White House. His others were in 1988 as a Libertarian and in 2008 as a Republican.

Robert Paul, who introduced his family and his dad during an April campaign rally in Fort Worth, said he attended a local Republican senatorial convention last month to try to become a delegate at the state convention for his dad.

But he had to coach a baseball team that day and had to leave before delegates were chosen.

Even though he won't be an official convention participant and has to work that week, Robert Paul does hope to drop in on some events, especially anything involving his dad.

But Robert Paul said he doesn't think his dad will end up staying at his house while he's in town.

"If the five [family members] come that I think are coming, I may not have room for more," said Robert Paul, who didn't know early last week whether his dad would have a speaking role.

But if he did, he said, his parents "may fly up and back the same day."

"They like to be home as much as possible."

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