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SALT LAKE CITY — The Republican Party is gathering in Tampa, Fla. next week to make Mitt Romney the party's presidential nominee. But presidential candidate and obstinate libertarian Ron Paul hopes to stir things up a bit.
While the nomination has essentially been given to Romney before delegates have made it official, Paul continues to quietly campaign, being the alternative to a Romney nomination. However, on the eve of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Paul is asking supporters and delegates to attend a rally — A Rally for the Liberty Delegates — in hopes to sway votes his way.
"Come out and show your support for Ron Paul's message of peace, prosperity, and individual liberty," Paul's website says.
"We're expecting to have a lot of excitement there, a lot of planning and preparation for the convention in the following week," Paul adds in a YouTube video to supporters. "I expect this to be a very exciting event. I'm looking forward to it and a lot of people are paying a lot of attention to it."
Come out and show your support for Ron Paul's message of peace, prosperity, and individual liberty.
–Ron Paul's website
According to federal records filed by Paul's campaign Friday, Paul is spending about $400,000 to sustain staffing for his campaign.
The Republican National Committee previously had concerns with Paul supporters from at least six states, saying they would disrupt the convention. Many of the delegates from the six states were denied seats at the national convention, and Maine Gov. Paul LePage threatened to boycott the convention if the RNC did not allow elected delegates to be seated.
However, late Tuesday, the RNC agreed to seat a majority of the delegates, saying they are "welcomed with open arms." But delegates from Maine and Louisiana are still up in the air. Approximately 160 delegates have "committed" to Paul, but it nothing to the more than 1,500 delegates who will be backing Romney.
Although it is unlikely Romney will have to fight for the nomination, there is a possibility Paul still can become the Republican nominee. At the very least, Paul's campaign is hoping his message of liberty will echo with Republican Party leaders and conservatives in general.
If you're planning on going to the Republican National Convention or Ron Paul's Rally, send me an email. Follow @JFurKSL and @KSLStatecraft for updated content at the convention. We will be live tweeting the many events surrounding the convention, including the Ron Paul Rally.