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
So, McCain supporters "threw" the vote just to sabotage Romney? How is that a victory for anyone? I feel sorry for W. Virginian voters, who were mostly left out of this process. What a joke.
Huckabee, GODBLESS MR. HUCKABEE. we need honesty. HES OUR GUY.
My son could not reach me from his business to check on me for my phone has been tied up for days with privacy directory calls. Some republicans were stupid enough to have their names on the CID. Mitt Romney for one. Did John McCain begin this mess? Someone said so. The only person I would vote for is Hillary Clinton; however, I was so tired from the phone ringing day and night that I could not get dressed and go to vote.
Back room dealing...McCain is Washington DC...dirty tricks...
collusion is what it is called in business. Keep up the filth and you will be kicking out the clean Republicans who do not tolerate the intolerable
McCain is a low life...and that insults low lifes...anyone who would dump his wife and kids and run off with the mistress for her money will not get the vote of the conservative base, especially not women.
Time to step up to the plate, conservatives!!! Stop Juan McAmnesty!
Mitt Romney is presidential!
Hes splitting the vote. way to go Huck!
GO HUCKABEE! Trust in the LORD and ANYTHING is possible. In GOD we TRUST.
The only real thing is RON PAUL. He is the only true republican in this race!
Huck and W.V,a perfect marriage.Now all he needs is Opies endorsement.
LMAO!!!!! I love it. McCain/Huckabee in '08
Word I've heard is that McCain asked some of his supporters to throw their support to Huckabee on the 2nd ballot to deny Romney the delegates. Smart political move.
I seem to recall the "best communicator in the party" advocating sexual relations between a man and a flagpole a couple weeks ago.
That WV convention must have been a doozey – the first round it's Romney>Huckabee>McCain. Then a second round, and it's Huckabee over Romney with McCain getting nothing. Must have been a lot of candidate shuffling.
That's the dirtiest thing I ever saw...Romney beat them all in the first ballot then the McCain Huckabee campaigned teamed up and pulled off their dirty trick
After the W. Virginia convention I don't see how Hukabee can claim that a vote for him is simply a vote for him, as he said earlier, and not against Romney. I know noone wants to admit it, but you have to ask yourself if Romney's religion is the reason he is so disliked by the other candidates. I'm sure they would claim otherwise, but come on...
Congrats Mr Huckabee!
People are starting to recognize charater, honor and determination!
hillary clinton will be our next president i talked to god he said she is our girl.
Voters should vote on issues and not listen to the media or candidates stating that there are only two canidates. Vote your convictions,who you want and believe in, rather than thinking you will throw your vote away!!!!!!!!! I applaud W. Virginia!!!!
Huckabee is the only Republican candidate that stands for change!
**** THE FIX IS IN***
JOHN McCAIN AND MIKE HUCKABEE CONSPIRED TO FIX THE WEST VIRGINIA PRIMARY AND STOLE IT FROM ROMNEYS CLEAR MAJORITY.
CHEAT AND DECEIT, McCAIN AND HUCKABEE
OUR NEW REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP. HOW PROUD WE SHOULD BE !
Huckabee won either because Ron Paul supporters or McCain supporters.Its all part of plot to keep Romney from beating McCain only reason Huc is still in the race now Paul just isnt smart enough to pull out. If McCain wins they will be a lot of republicans not voting or voting for democrat.Coservatives wise up vote for Romney and not huc thats what McCain wants. Romney 08
good news for mr. huckabee and w.virginia .... one less state for mitt romney .....
Vote for honesty, integrity, and perseverence: vote Hillary- the Anti Media Machine candidate!
Not really that surprising, considering the mentality of West Virginians. They can"t even hold a proper primary.
Well, good for Huckleberry. Too bad he's a republican.
McCain is too old.
Romney is fake.
Hucky is just lucky.
Ron Paul is the only smart guy on the republican side. Too bad he's in the wrong party.