Knoxville — The Republican Party of Iowa's State Convention included many supporters of Ron Paul's bid for the party's Presidential nomination, but Marion County Chair Irene Blom says the event was not as divisive as what has been portrayed.
Paul placed third in the Iowa Caucus. Presumed candidate Mitt Romney, after some recounting, won the caucus. Blom said that Paul had well-organized supporters there, though Paul has stopped actively campaigning.
"It's just that they were more vocal," Blom said.
Blom said she was glad to see the Paul supporters at the convention, but she did not understand why they continue to support him. Most of the other Republicans in attendance were of the opinion that now is the time for the party to unite and get behind Romney. The party is working hard for this unity.
"We've all got our work cut out for us," Blom said. Blom believes that larger media outlets blew the situation with the Paul supporters out of proportion.
There was more to the convention than this. Blom said the Republican candidates who spoke were well-received. No full planks were added to the party's platform. This is because, Blom says, the platform was already well-received by the party.
Steve Scheffler and Tamara Scott were chosen to represent the Iowa Republicans at the national convention. Blom said they were selected because the party wants "strong conservatives" to represent the state.
"We feel pretty good about that," Blom said.
In all, there were approximately 1,600 in attendance, including 22 from Marion County. There were 30 from Marion County registered, but not all of them were able to attend.
Blom said she never felt the level of unrest and contention at a convention, as she did on Saturday. She believes this is an indication of the unhappiness people feel regarding the status and direction of the country. They seek change and the ouster of President Barack Obama.
Overall, Blom said the experience of attending a convention is very rewarding, one that people should try to have at some point in their lives. The experience can be educational, and demonstrate what goes on before an election. Blom has one simple message she wanted to convey about the political process.
"I'd say GET INVOLVED!" she said.