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American Samoa GOP ready to caucus — at a bar

By AssociatedPress

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:55 p.m. HST, Mar 21, 2012



PAGO PAGO, American Samoa >> What do you get when 50 or so Republicans gather in a restaurant-bar? In American Samoa, you get a presidential caucus.

The U.S. territory, located about 2,300 miles south of Hawaii, gets its chance Tuesday to choose delegates to the Republican National Convention and vote on a presidential candidate. It's a decidedly local affair.

Republicans will meet at Toa Bar & Grill.

The six delegates picked at the caucus will join three American Samoa "superdelegates" at the convention.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the caucus and that's why so few attend. It's rare in American Samoa for anyone to officially register as a Republican or Democrat because local elected officials don't run on party lines.

Local GOP chairman Victor T. Tofaeono, a superdelegate, is hopeful caucus attendees will agree to commit all nine delegates to one candidate.

"That will be the aim of our caucus," he said.

In 2008, the nine delegates backed Arizona Sen. John McCain, who went on to win the Republican nomination.

Amata Radewagen, a Republican National Committeewoman and superdelegate, did not say for whom she will vote, but Mitt Romney has "quite a bit of support" among local Republicans.

Last weekend, Romney captured all 18 delegates at caucuses in two other U.S. possessions in the Pacific — Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Like American Samoa, residents of those islands are U.S. citizens but are not allowed to vote in the presidential election in November.






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