Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz picked up 10 more pledged Colorado delegates to the Republican National Convention during Friday balloting.
The state’s April 2 to April 8 process raised Cruz’s Colorado haul of pledged delegates to 17.
Four unpledged delegates were also elected. They are expected to support Cruz, bringing his Colorado delegate total to 21, but those unpledged delegates could still decide to support Donald Trump or Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Colorado did not hold a primary election or caucus to select delegates to the convention that will decide the party’s 2016 presidential nominee. Instead, three delegates were selected during district meetings for each of seven congressional districts.
Districts 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted Friday, selecting 10 officially pledged Cruz delegates. District 2 also elected two unpledged delegates that are expected to support Cruz. One of those unpledged delegates, Michael McAlpine, is listed as Cruz for President Grassroots Leader on a list of leadership team members released by the Cruz campaign.
Districts 1 and 6 voted last Saturday and District 7 voted on Thursday. Cruz picked up seven officially pledged delegates in those contests and the remaining two are unpledged but were included on a slate recommending Cruz-supporting delegates.
Another 13 delegates will be determined during Saturday’s state convention.
All the primary delegates, along with three delegates allocated to party leaders, will make up the 37 Colorado delegates to the presidential nomination process in July.
Cruz will speak at Saturday’s convention as will Trump senior policy advisor Stephen Miller, a former aide to Sen. Jeff Sessions. Former New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu will speak for Kasich, according to the Colorado party chairman.
Thirty-four alternate delegates have also been selected by the seven Colorado districts. Of those, all but two are either pledged as Cruz delegates or unpledged to any candidate. Those two exceptions are pledged to GOP frontrunner Trump.
Trump’s Colorado state Director told Breitbart News ahead of the Friday votes that the Trump team is “talking with convention delegates face-to-face [and] changing minds.”
“There is a tremendous amount of interest in these congressional assemblies,” Colorado Republican Party Communications Director Kyle Kohli told Breitbart News. “Forty to fifty percent of the participants are new. We’ve never had national press here before. It’s a huge change from congressional assemblies in the past.”
Breitbart News asked Kohli if delegates that have pledged to a candidate are actually bound to that candidate, or could still chose another candidate during the first ballot at the July Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
That’s one interpretation, that’s not the Colorado Republican Party’s interpretation. If you declare a candidate you are bound to that candidate. I’d say that’s a consensus opinion. The way I understand it is all delegates are really unbound. In our opinion if you list a candidate you are bound to it through ballot one based on our rules.
The way the voting works, the delegation chair casts the votes for the whole delegation. This all has not been tested before, but these are our rules and I would say most of the Republicans in Colorado agree how the process should work.
“We’re seeing more people showing up at these meetings than in the past,” Colorado State Party Chairman Steve House told Breitbart News on Friday. “There’s also a lot of new people … There is massive interest because this whole presidential election is a little more chaotic.”
House estimated attendance at Friday’s meetings to be 3,500 and said he expects 7,000 at the state party meeting on Saturday. Asked if he expects those newly involved in the party House said, “You hope to get them involved and to vote and be involved going forward. We’re probably going to have 10-12,000 volunteers across the state during the election season.”
House will be one of the three additional delegates to the national convention. RNC National Committeewoman Lilly Nuñez and RNC National Committeeman George Leing are the other two.
District 5 chose Donald Olmstead, Joel Crank, and Robin Gale Coran as delegates. District 2 elected Robert Woodward, Michael McAlpine, and Marty Neilson. District 4 chose Perry Buch, Guy Short, and Kendal Unruh. District 3 chose Melanie Sturm, Anita Stapleton, and Steven Hofman. McAlphine and Neilson are designated as unpledged delegates; all of the others are designated for Cruz. No Trump or Kasich designated delegates were selected. Trump did win two alternate delegates. House told Breitbart News that alternate delegates will only vote in the event that a delegate is unable to complete his or her duties.
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