If there was a recurring theme at the Republican State Convention this weekend, it was a reminder for party loyalists to keep their eyes on the prize.
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It started with former Gov. John McKernan on Saturday morning, who urged the more than 2,000 Republicans to unite after the primary in support of one candidate for the November general election. McKernan's presence alone was a stark reminder of Republicans' Blaine House banishment. He was the last Republican governor, and left office in 1995 -- 15 years ago. The last Republican before him was in office in 1967.
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But during the middle of the convention, amid the recurring calls for unity, a mini-revolt occurred in the party.
The two-page platform that a Republican Party committee had drafted was replaced by a three-page platform proposed by the Knox County Republican Committee and strongly reflective of tea party ideals.
The new party platform, as adopted Saturday, begins with a lengthy introduction that, in part, praises the current Tea Party Movement. It has six main sections, with numerous subsections. Many deal with issues of state sovereignty and personal liberties. Many express stances on federal government issues. [You can find the platform here]
I know the platform is merely a guideline, not the party's rule of law but it is nice to see some Tea Party folks getting involved with a political party on the state level.