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WV: Huckabee Wins


West Virginians for Huckabee. (AP).

Updated 7: 15 p.m.
By Rick Weiss
Mike Huckabee won the race for West Virginia's 18 at-large delegates today in that state's first "GOP Presidential Convention" in Charleston, which assigns the bigger half of the state's 30 delegates. The victory came in a second round of voting, after a first round failed to deliver a majority for any of the four candidates on the slate.

The final vote was Huckabee 567 (51 percent), Mitt Romney 521 (47 percent) and John McCain 12 (1 percent).

Huckabee's victory drew quick recriminations from Romney's campagn manager, Beth Myers, who in a statement accused John McCain of cutting a "back room deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney's campaign of conservative change."
Romney had won the first round of voting but failed to get a majority, necessitating a second round under West Virginia rules. (The first round results were: Romney 464, Huckabee 375, McCain 176 and Ron Paul 118.)

Ron Paul had been the top West Virginia Republican fundraiser for the last quarter of 2007, but 60 percent of delegates were still uncommitted before the vote.

Suspense was high throughout the second-round vote, said GOP Convention chief executive, Bob Fish.

"It went right up to the wire," Fish said. "There are a lot of large counties late in the alphabet, including Ohio and Wood, so as you watched the vote come in bit by bit you could see Huckabee was ahead for most of the voting but a large county could easily have made the difference late in the game."

"The notion of a deal struck between Mike Huckabee and McCain is ridiculous," said Michael Brown, co-founder of HucksArmy.com, in a statment released Tuesday evening. "This election belongs to the people."

Added Lucas Roebuck, Public Affairs Officer for HucksArmy.com: "Team Romney has been trying to spin the results as some back room deal, but that is bunk."

HucksArmy.com is an online grassroots movement not formally affiliated with the Huckabee campaign, dedicated to mobilizing "support for candidates who honor God and country."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 5, 2008; 3:05 PM ET
 
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