NEW YORK (CNN) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the West Virginia State Party Convention, the first Republican presidential nominating contest of "Super Tuesday."
Huckabee was victorious on the second ballot.
Huckabee picked up 18 national convention delegates after trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on the first round of balloting. It appeared as though supporters of Arizona Sen. John McCain, who placed a distant third on the first ballot, moved over to Huckabee, helping him to carry the day.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul did not collect enough votes to advance past the first round. Paul, Huckabee, and Romney addressed the convention earlier in the day.
UPDATE: Huckabee spokesman Jim Pinkerton has released the following statement:
“Mike Huckabee is the best communicator in the party—in the country. If people get to know him, they will vote for him. Just as they did in West Virginia. Which, of course, has a great tradition of being a key primary state.”
UPDATE II: Romney Campaign Chairwoman Beth Myers issued the following statement:
"Unfortunately, this is what Sen. McCain's inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney's campaign of conservative change.
"Governor Romney had enough respect for the Republican voters of West Virginia to make an appeal to them about the future of the party based on issues. This is why he led on today's first ballot. Sadly, Senator McCain cut a Washington backroom deal in a way that once again underscores his legacy of working against Republicans who are interested in championing conservative policies and rebuilding the party
Congratulations for Mike Huckabee. He deserves not to back from this race as it proves that this is a three way race for republicans.
CHEATERS. OLD JUAN McAMNESTY IS UP TO THE SAME SORT OF DIRTY TRICKS THAT WERE USED ON HIM IN THE RACE AGAINST BUSH.
McCain has Juan Hernandez on his campaign staff. Former Mexican cabinet member who says that 7th Generation Mexican Americans should think of themselves as Mexican first. McCain's campaign treasurer is the founder of Univision spanish language television. Do your homework. I am a republican who will never vote for McAmnesty.
Thank you for reporting Huckabee's win in West Virginia. Your debate last week was shameful that you did not give Huckabee or Paul equal time. If you are going to invite them, let them speak! Huckabee is my candidate and I would appreciate more coverage on him.
I think it was just a vote against Mormons, shame on you people in W. Viginia
Huckabee and McCain are pathetic. The only way they can win is to collude against the better candidate. If Huckabee cared about his country and the future of the Republican party he would drop out and stop impeding democracy. Pathetic, Huckabee, Pathetic.
huck's first win today! yay!,,,,,wait a minute....im receiving word...its his last too....darn
Hukabee says Watch Out Boyz I'm commin at Cha'.......................So Don't Call it A Come Back, I've Been Here all the time....
that was quick
Its amazing that Romney is still in this race everyone is against him.
Great. Now we can see the confederate flag fly again.
"Clinton Suggests Tapping Wages of Those Who Won't Buy Insurance
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said she might be willing to have workers' wages garnisheed if they refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans. The ..."
The above is the lead to an article in today's "Insurance Journal". I'm surprised Clinton thinks suggesting garnisheeing the wages of American workers is a good way to get votes!!!
Come on CNN! Play fair! Romney lost by what, 40 votes or so? Write that!!! Of course, with the 'winner take all' nature of the contest, getting 2nd place doesn't get you anything. But looking more closely at the results is beneficial. And what about McCain? 1% of the vote. McCain is the real loser here. Of course, with Huckabee taking Romney votes (and the other way around), McCain's job will be easier to take the nomination.
Word has it RP supporters jumped to the Huckabee bandwagon securing his victory. You will see this a lot. It is a false representation of the support Huckabee has though.
i'm a democrat voting 4 obama but i find myself secretly cheering for huckabee on the republican side. glad he won WV – he seems like a genuinely nice guy. mccain seems to be mean spirited.
No doubt about it now. The WV vote makes it crystal clear. Huckabee staying in the GOP race literally TAKES delegates from Romney's campaign!
Romney needs to exit the race so he doesn't steal votes from Huckabee.
This race is such a roller coaster on both sides.
Good luck, Huck! We may disagree, but at least you seem to be doing good job convincing voters you're genuine, unlike the other two "front-runners!"
How old is he? I thought that life expectancy in the Middle Ages was like 35 years.
What happens in West Virginia stays in West Virginia!! They sure have their own nation out in the mountains.
The only good thing this guy has on his side is Colbert
Further proof that McCain is not the front runner. Of course, Huck only won on the second ballot after McCain delegates threw him their support to catch Romney. It's the GOP liberals versus the conservative and the gloves are off. Are you listening California?