Convention Panel to Deal With Campfield

Looks like state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, will have another round of national publicity (imagine that) since he is an elected delegate for Newt Gingrich and the Gingrich campaign doesn't want him.

The issue will likely be resolved before the credentials committee, which meets the week before the Republican National Convention in Tampa. The Tennessee Republican Party told the Gingrich campaign that since Campfield was elected as a Gingrich delegate they do not have the authority to remove him.

Campfield, who was Gingrich's state co-chairman for the primary, endorsed Rick Santorum three days before the election. Evidently the Santorum campaign isn't seeking Campfield to be one of their delegates either. They submitted a full slate of their delegates Saturday for the convention.

If Gingrich stays in the race until the convention, as he has vowed to do, then Campfield is one of his delegates committed to vote for him for the first two rounds. If Gingrich withdraws he could release his delegates. But as things stand now, the credentials committee, which decides who will be seated and recognized at the convention, would hold a hearing on whether Campfield can be seated as a Gingrich delegate. Unless the Gingrich campaign just says to hell with it and lets it stand. Each state provides delegates for various committees for the convention. The credentials committee members have to arrive a week before the convention because they have to make all its decisions before the convention opens.