July 30, 2012
Mr. Reince Priebus, Chairman
Republican National Convention
310 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
RE: Delegates from Sixth Congressional District of Louisiana
You have probably heard a lot about the controversy surrounding the Louisiana Republican
Party state convention held in June 2012, which resulted in two different national convention delegations
from Louisiana to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
The controversy came to a head last Friday, July 27 when the Louisiana Republican Party announced
the names of its delegation to the national convention.
I am writing to you in my capacity as Republican parish chairman for East Baton Rouge
Parish, the largest parish in Louisiana and the parish which forms the base of the Sixth Congressional
District. I also served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1972-2000, as Honorary
Chairman of the Louisiana delegation to the 1996 Republican National Convention and as Louisiana’s
member of the Platform Committee at the 2008 Republican National Convention.
During Louisiana’s Presidential Primary and the caucuses this year, I endorsed Rick Santorum
and was a leader in the efforts by RNC member Ross Little to elect an uncommitted slate of
delegates favorable to Sen. Santorum. I now fully support Gov. Mitt Romney. I have never been a
supporter of Congressman Ron Paul.
Since the state Republican convention in June, I have had countless meetings and conversations
with leaders of the Louisiana Republican Party and leaders of the Ron Paul forces, in an effort
to broker a compromise that could allow our party to be united at the Republican National Convention
in Tampa and for this fall’s elections. Unfortunately, those efforts have failed.
As a result of the many meetings and conversations I have had with both sides, I have become
deeply concerned that our state party’s leadership, composed of some of my best friends and
political allies, has become caught up in the efforts to “block Ron Paul” and are making decisions
adversely affecting the rights of the Republican voters here in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Sixth Congressional District of Louisiana.
On Friday, July 27, the Louisiana Republican Party announced the names of its delegation
from Louisiana to the Republican National Convention in August.
The delegation announced by the Louisiana Republican Party included a list of three delegates
to represent the Sixth Congressional District at the Republican National Convention — Allee
Bautsch, Karen Connelly, and Jay Dardenne. However, these were NOT the three delegates who
were duly elected as a result of our caucuses held here in the Sixth Congressional District on April
For purposes of this letter, I would like to separate the events that occurred BEFORE the
state convention in Shreveport from the events that occurred AT the state convention, because they
are very different.
No matter what the Credentials Committee ultimately rules on Louisiana’s At-Large
delegates, there can be no reasonable doubt about who should be delegates from Louisiana’s six
Congressional districts. The rules provide a lot of subjectivity when it comes to the selection of
the At-Large delegates but not when it comes to the selection of the national convention delegates
from the Congressional districts.
As to the Sixth Congressional District delegates, here is my analysis of what happened:
1. On April 28, 2012, Louisiana Republican voters went to caucus locations throughout
the state to elect delegates to the Louisiana State Republican Convention in Shreveport. Under
the rules adopted by the Louisiana Republican Party and approved by the national party, the 25
state delegates elected from each Congressional District were supposed to meet and elect three
delegates to the Republican National Convention.
2. In the Sixth Congressional District based here in Baton Rouge, more than 100 candidates
for state delegate appeared on the ballot. Of the 100 candidates, the top vote-getter from
throughout the entire Congressional District was a member of our East Baton Rouge Republican
Parish Executive Committee, Dr. Karla Doucet, who is an anesthesiologist. She received 743
votes. She was at the top of a slate of 25 Ron Paul delegate candidates organized by Charlie Davis.
These 25 candidates won the top 25 delegate spots to the state convention. Their vote totals
ranged from 743 votes on the high end to 698 votes on the low end. Mr. Davis’ group defeated
candidates from several other slates, including the uncommitted but pro-Santorum slate I was
associated with and the Romney slate, which was far behind. Attached you will see the results,
as sent to me by the Louisiana Republican Party on April 29, 2012.
3. The top 25 candidates for state convention delegates, all pledged to Ron Paul, were duly
certified as the Sixth District’s delegates to the state Republican convention. None of them was
challenged in any way.
4. Under the rules adopted by the Louisiana Republican Party and approved by the RNC,
the 25 state delegates from the Sixth Congressional District were supposed to caucus at the state
Republican convention in Shreveport and elect three delegates to the Republican National Convention
in Tampa. They did meet and voted unanimously to elect the following three national
To me, the fact that the 25 duly-certified state delegates from the Sixth Congressional
District met and unanimously elected these three individuals is dispositive of this issue.
5. Please note that the official results of the Louisiana Republican Party from the Sixth
Congressional District caucuses held on April 28, 2012, showed that Mr. Davis received 737
votes, Mr. Helwig received 729 votes, and Mr. Hussey received 729 votes. This contrasts with
Mr. Jay Dardenne, who is listed by the state party as a delegate from the Sixth Congressional
District. He received only 288 votes and ran 51st out of more than 100 candidates. Ms. Bautsch
and Ms. Connolly did not run for delegate at all.
6. I know all three of the gentlemen who were elected as national convention delegates by
the 25 duly-certified delegates from the Sixth Congressional District — Mr. Davis, Mr. Helwig,
and Mr. Hussey — and I know them to be individuals of high character and with good reputations
in our community. Mr. Davis has served as Executive Director of the Louisiana Republican
Party, and Mr. Helwig and Mr. Hussey are Baton Rouge business owners, both of whom are
members of the Board of Governors of the Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge Parish.
7. I understand that national party rules provide that no state party can change the rules for
delegate selection after Oct. 1, 2011. Nevertheless, two days before the state convention in June
2012, Mr. Davis, Mr. Helwig, and Mr. Hussey were told that they could not serve as delegates unless
they signed an affidavit created that very day, which contained a new rule for delegate selection.
The new rule, which was included in the affidavit, said that by signing the document, they agreed
that they could be removed as delegates at any time by the Executive Committee of the Louisiana
8. The three gentlemen refused to sign the affidavit because it contained this new rule — a
rule which had not been adopted prior to Oct. 1, 2011. Furthermore, they believed that they had
been elected by the 25 duly-certified state delegates from the Sixth Congressional District and that
they had the right to serve as national convention delegates, whether the Executive Committee
liked their selection or not.
9. Many other issues and disputes arose at the state convention, but none of them bears on
the issue of whether the duly-elected national convention delegates from the Sixth Congressional
District have the right to represent our district at the national convention. Their election has nothing
to do with the controversies at the state convention. Quite simply, it is patently clear that Mr.
Davis, Mr. Helwig, and Mr. Hussey were duly elected and have the right to serve.
10. Nevertheless, the state Republican Party has submitted the names of three other individuals
to serve as national convention delegates from our congressional district — individuals
who did not compete and win in the delegate selection process adopted by the state party. The state
Republican Party could have and should have submitted the names of Mr. Charlie Davis, Mr. Alex
Helwig, and Mr. Kevin Hussey as delegates to the Republican National Convention.
11. As chairman of the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge, the parish that has a majority
of the registered Republicans in the Sixth Congressional District, I strongly object to this usurpation.
There is absolutely no justification for depriving the Republicans of our parish and of our
Congressional District of the delegates they duly elected.
In 1975, as a member of the Louisiana House, I authored Louisiana’s first-ever Presidential
Primary law. Gov. Edwin Edwards vetoed it, but we came back and passed it again despite his objections.
My purpose at that time was to take the delegate selection process out of the back rooms
and put it in the hands of the registered Democratic and Republican voters of our state. Fortunately,
the legislature did just that.
Today, we must not allow the delegation selection process to revert to those days of back
room politics and delegates’ being selected in secret by a handful of party leaders.
I urge you as the leader of our party to do everything you can to insure that the three delegates
elected from the Sixth Congressional District of Louisiana be seated at the Republican National
Convention and that the choices of our Republican caucus voters be honored.
With appreciation for the good work you are doing and warmest personal regards, I remain
Woody Jenkins, Chairman
Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish, State of Louisiana