State Republicans to start electing delegates

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- State Republicans are set to start electing delegates to August's Republican National Convention.

The Washington state Republican convention started Wednesday, and the delegate election process begins Friday afternoon.

The state will send 43 delegates to the national convention in Tampa, Fla. While Mitt Romney won the state's caucus straw poll in March, the caucuses were just the first in a multistep process to officially allocate 40 of those delegates to a candidate, and supporters of Ron Paul are still hoping to have a significant presence in August.

Thirty delegates are elected on Friday during the congressional district caucuses, and 10 are elected Saturday. Three additional are automatic delegates, and include the state party chairman.

Also Friday, Washington state Democrats open their weekend convention. Newark Mayor Cory Booker will speak Friday night, and delegates to Democrats' national convention will be elected Sunday.