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Huckabee wins W.Va. GOP convention

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Mike Huckabee won West Virginia's 18 GOP national delegates. Mike Huckabee won West Virginia's 18 GOP national delegates.

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's 18 GOP national delegates are going to Mike Huckabee.

He's the winner in the first contest declared on this Super Tuesday.

They were awarded at the state Republican convention when delegates for John McCain defected to Huckabee's side.

A first round of voting produced no winner, but elminated Ron Paul, who had come in fourth. He and Mitt Romney had kicked off the day with speeches at the convention.

The director of McCain's West Virginia campaign says the Arizona senators supporters may have been hoping to deny Romney any early momentum. Larry Swann says there was "some strategy" involved, and McCain supporters were put off by Romney's attacks on their candidate in his speech.

Romney had asked "Are we going to put a true conservative in the house that Ronald Reagan built or are we going to take a left turn?"

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