Texas Sen. Ted Cruz may turn out to be the real winner of the Louisiana Republican primary. Despite losing the primary in early March by fewer than four percentage points and winning an equal number of pledged delegates, Cruz supporters scooped up five of Louisiana’s six positions on key committees intended to write the Republican National Convention’s rules and platform, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Only one Trump supporter managed to receive an appointment to a senior level delegate post. Eric Skrmetta, the Trump campaign’s state co-chairman was named vice chairman of GOP convention delegation, a mainly ceremonial position without decision-making responsibilities.
It appears the Cruz camp’s strategy of winning over state delegates who will be major players at the convention is bearing fruit. Cruz may end up with up to 10 more delegates in Louisiana favorable towards him in his goal to reach 1,237 delegates before Trump does at a possible contested convention.
Trump’s campaign didn’t know they’d been shut out of Louisiana RNC committee posts by Cruz forces until told by WSJ https://t.co/vvnAqkdWYg
— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) March 24, 2016
RNC lawyer Ben Ginsburg stressed the importance of delegates and the changing of convention rules when asked by MSNBC during a recent interview.
“Each convention has to pass that rule and a number of other procedural rules for itself. There’s no precedent that’s set. In 2000 and 2004, it was five states. We moved it to eight states in 2012 for the reasons of that convention. It does not carry over. The delegates in Cleveland will decides how many states it takes to put a name in nomination,” Ginsburg said.
“The delegates who will serve on the convention in the rules committee haven’t even been selected except in a small number of states, so I think its way premature to say what delegates will want to do or even what the individual candidates in Cleveland will ask the delegates to do,” he added.
GOP leaders across the country at the precinct, county, district and state level are meeting at various times in the near future to choose who will represent their state party as delegates at the convention as well as who will fill specific committee posts for their state.
In the state of Georgia, where Trump won decisively and was awarded 42 of the Peach State’s 76 delegates, has had a similar turn of events. One particular county, Coweta, heavily went Trump’s way by 12 percentage points, but Georgia Cruz campaign organizer Brant Frost told the WSJ that the senator’s supporters will compose 90 percent of Coweta’s delegates at state and district meetings. This group of delegates will be part of the larger pool of Georgia delegates that are chosen to go to Cleveland.
“A lot of Trump supporters are new,” Phoebe Hobbs, a Trump supporter at a GOP Convention in Cobb County, Ga. told the WSJ, noting they were unaware they needed be at Georgia precinct meetings one month ago.
“There’s a reason they are upset [with the political system],” said Hobbs. “They don’t know how the party is run.”
Louisiana Trump supporter Kay Kellogg Katz, a former state legislator who went to every Republican Convention since 1984, said the Cruz campaign played a better delegate strategy in the state. She lost her delegate position in a 22-5 vote to Kim Fralick, a Cruz supporter with no experience in a major political campaign.