Dissension in GOP ranks carries over to convention

LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY

Associated Press
POSTED: 3:03 PM Jun 04 2013   UPDATED: 3:22 PM Jun 04 2013
REPUBLICAN GOP
HELENA, Mont. -

A split in the Republican ranks that grew during the legislative session promises to linger as the party gathers this weekend to pick new leaders.
    
Montana Republicans gather Friday and Saturday in Bozeman to vote for leaders and listen to top elected officials.
    
The party enters the convention with two different factions from their legislative caucus each backing different candidates for party vice-chair.
    
A group branding itself the "Responsible Republicans" says it is fighting back against the conservative wing's attempt to control the party. But conservative leaders say dissident Republican legislators need to realize they are in the minority of the party.
    
Current party chairman Will Deschamps is running again. He has two challengers in a battle more focused on results in recent elections than the fractured GOP caucus.