Donald Trump is the winner of Arizona’s Republican presidential primary contest, but the Ted Cruz team is campaigning hard in that state — and others — to convince delegates to support him if the Republican National Convention moves beyond a first ballot.
Trump won easily in Arizona, 47 per cent over Cruz’s 25 per cent. He won all of the state’s 58 delegates in that contest. However those 58 are only bound to Trump on a first ballot at the RNC.
Republican strategist Sean Noble told the Washington Examiner that Trump is not organized in Arizona, and that on a second ballot Cruz would win all or most of the state’s delegates. Cruz Arizona organizer Constantine Querard painted a somewhat less idealistic, but still optimistic plan to pull in delegate candidates that have supported presidential candidates such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich or former candidate Sen. Marco Rubio and oppose Trump. Querard indicated that the Cruz team is seeing progress in winning over Arizona delegates in preparation for a potential multi-ballot contested convention. He gave next Saturday as a pivot point in the efforts.
The Arizona Republican Party convention will be held April 30. “Any registered Republican who is eligible to vote in Arizona is eligible to be elected as a Delegate or Alternate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18 to 22, 2016,” according to the state party’s website. “Three Delegates and three Alternates will be elected in each Congressional District Caucus at the State Convention on April 30, 2016. Twenty-eight Delegates and twenty-eight Alternates will be elected At-Large by the entire Convention after the Congressional District Caucuses elect their Delegates.”
State House Representative majority whip David Livingston is aiding the Cruz team in delegate efforts according to the report. Livingston indicated that the Cruz team in Arizona is blasting out texts, calls and emails to put Cruz delegates in at least half of the Arizona Republican delegate slots. Still Livingston conceded to the outlet that Trump does have “some good people” running a ground game in Arizona, but lauded the Cruz team more highly. He stated hope that the team’s delegate efforts would give Cruz an advantage at the state convention.
Cruz holds endorsements from U.S. Reps. David Schweikert, Matt Salmon and Trent Franks. Meanwhile Trump also holds influential endorsements from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, state Treasurer Jeff DeWit and former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
Cruz’s delegate strategy has been ever emerging as the race for the nomination barrels along. Cruz tentatively won 18 of North Dakota’s 25 delegates over the weekend; however, those delegates have expressed varying levels of support for Cruz.
The Texas senator also pulled in six delegates on Saturday from two of Colorado’s congressional districts. Another 28 delegates will be determined in Colorado between Thursday and Saturday.
Last week over 100 potential California Cruz delegates met with their candidate well ahead of the state’s June 7 primary election. Cruz delegates have met repeatedly at events such as the San Diego Republican Party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner where Cruz supporter Sen. Mike Lee was keynote speaker.
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