NEW YORK–Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] attempted to endear himself to New York County GOP officials Tuesday afternoon in an effort to garner at least 20 percent in Donald Trump’s home state.
New York has 95 delegates for the taking and if a candidate gets over 50 percent, that individual wins all the delegates. A candidate must win at least 20 percent of the vote in a congressional district in order to qualify to receive a share of that district’s delegates. There are 27 congressional districts in the Empire state.
According to insiders at the meeting, 100 people attended the closed press campaign event at the Metropolitan Republican Club on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Cruz told the New York Republican group that it is a “two man race” and that “nominating Trump is surrendering the election to Hillary Clinton.”
Cruz also called Ohio Governor John Kasich a “spoiler.” At least five GOP County Chairs were in attendance including Westchester County Chair Rob Astorino, New York State GOP Chairman Ed Cox and Manhattan County GOP Chairwoman Adele Malpass.
Additionally, former Donald Trump adviser Sam Nunberg was spotted by TheDC on his way to the event.
Nunberg did not make a comment as to why he planned to sit among the New York State Republican officials and listen to Cruz’s remarks.
“The New York Republican primary is going to be a critical primary. New York for the first time in a long time is going to have a real voice in selecting the nominee and we are competing vigorously here in the state of New York,” Cruz told TheDC at a presser after his meeting remarks.
“We are competing vigorously to earn votes and to earn delegates here in New York with a very strong grassroots team on the ground. We believe we can compete very effectively in New York congressional district by congressional district,” he said.
Cruz later added, “New Yorkers want a safe and secure America. New York saw first hand the tragic consequences of radical Islamic terrorism on September 11th and we need a president who is vigorous in keeping this country safe. I believe the New York primary to be very competitive and I’m encouraged by the support we’re seeing on the ground.”
One GOP official complained to Cruz that Donald Trump had been involved in political campaigns in New York and New Jersey for years, but that Trump always funded his Democratic opponents.
The candidate with the most votes in a district will receive two of those district’s delegates, while the second place finisher receives just one. From the remaining 14 delegates, 11 will be at-large and be allocated on a proportional basis and three national party leaders will serve as bounded delegates to the Republican National Convention.
Cruz took heat fromTrump and other New Yorkers just a few months ago during a debate when he attempted to describe the businessman’s political ideology as the epitome of “New York values.”
UPDATE: A GOP insider initially told TheDC he heard Cruz say Kasich would not make the New York ballot. However, TheDC spoke to Sam Nunberg, a New York City political consultant on Wednesday, who was also in attendance at the off-the-record meeting, who said TheDC’s source misinterpreted Senator Cruz’s remarks. Cruz, Nunberg said, was referring to how long Kasich would be able to continue to last in the primary, given how many primary contests the Ohio governor has lost. TheDC’s source responded, “Talked to two people there. One agreed with my interpretation of the comment, but another assumed Cruz meant that Kasich may be out of the race by April 19th.”