(Reuters) — U.S. Republican officials began meeting on Wednesday, a day after Donald Trump’s crushing victory in a New York presidential nominating contest, and said he has been winning growing acceptance within their ranks – but they want to see the billionaire do more to mend fences with the party establishment.
Trump, the front-runner to become the Republican presidential candidate in November’s election, was the focus for the party’s spring meeting of 168 Republican National Committee (RNC) members in Hollywood, Florida. The three-day conclave at an oceanside resort will take stock of the race for the White House and prepare for a possible contested convention in July in Cleveland.
The New York real estate mogul’s win Tuesday in his home state over rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich was an important milestone for RNC members, who said it could put him on a pathway to acquire the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination outright without a contested convention.
“There are a fair number of RNC members who were discounting his chances of success when we met in January and now see that he’s building a substantial lead and may in fact get to 1,237 before we get to the convention,” said Steve Duprey, an RNC member from New Hampshire.
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