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Paul supporter Chris Stearns, the newly elected Republican Party chairman for the 3rd Congressional District, said the push for new leadership within the party didn’t come just from pro-Paul folks, but from like-minded tea party members and supporters of Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II as well.

“The biggest thing is the message, and the message is integrity and sticking to your word and being honest in politics,” Mr. Stearns said.

The newly constituted State Central Committee promptly voted in June to hold a state convention as the nominating contest for governor next year after the committee had voted in October to hold a primary. The vote was widely seen to benefit Mr. Cuccinelli, a tea party favorite who is running against Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling for the nomination in a state where voters do not register by party.

“I would love to see a return to conventions as the sole nomination process for our candidates,” Mr. Stearns said. “We don’t need to be appealing to Democrats when we’re running for the nomination.”