North Dakota Republicans selected 25 national delegates Sunday, with results that looked good for Ted Cruz, but were far from certain because each delegate will be a free agent at the national convention. The North Dakota delegates include eight Republicans who have said they will vote for Cruz and one who is supporting Donald Trump. But just as many delegates were mum about their plans when questioned over the weekend. The delegates met Sunday evening, just as the convention ended, and selected State Party Chairman Kelly Armstrong to be chair their convention delegation and chose Republican National Committeeman Curly Haugland and RNC Committeewoman Sandy Boehler to serve on the powerful convention rules committee.Full Article: North Dakota Republicans Choose Delegates to National Convention | whotv.com.
Political observers have wondered for months whether Donald Trump’s unconventional, “political outsider” campaign would put him at a disadvantage if the Republican presidential race were to come down to the wire. Now, a fight stemming from the complicated process of selecting convention delegates suggests it has. The Trump campaign is currently in a tizzy over a development regarding Louisiana’s delegation to the Republican National Convention. While Trump narrowly defeated Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the state’s primary earlier this month, a recent Wall Street Journal report suggested that Cruz will head to Cleveland with more Louisiana delegates than the real estate mogul, prompting Trump to accuse Cruz of trying to “steal” delegates. “It’s the first bit of concrete evidence that we’ve got that the Cruz campaign is organized and that the Trump campaign is playing catch-up,” said Josh Putnam, a lecturer at the University of Georgia who tracks delegate rules at the blog FrontloadingHQ. “This process is going to go on to other states where similar battles are going to be fought under different state party rules.”Full Article: The Trump-Cruz Louisiana Delegate Fight Could Be First Sign Of Turmoil To Come.
The Republican National Committee has started preparing for a contested national convention, which would follow the primary season should no GOP candidate for president win enough delegates to secure the party’s nomination. While calling the need for such plans ultimately unlikely, several GOP leaders at the party’s winter meeting in South Carolina told The Associated Press on Wednesday that such preliminary planning is nonetheless actively underway. They stressed it had little to do with concerns about the candidacy of billionaire businessman Donald Trump, describing the early work instead as a necessary contingency given the deeply divided Republican field. With less than three weeks to go before the Feb. 1 leadoff Iowa caucuses, there are still a dozen major Republican candidates in the race. “Certainly, management of the committee has been working on the eventuality, because we’d be wrong not to,” said Bruce Ash, chairman of the RNC’s rules committee. “We don’t know, or we don’t think there’s going to be a contested convention, but if there is, obviously everybody needs to know what all those logistics are going to look like.”Full Article: Republican Party begins preparing for contested convention.
Representatives for news organizations who plan to cover next summer’s convention are protesting a move by the Republican National Committee to charge news media organizations a $150 access fee for seats on the press stand. Seats on risers constructed for newspapers, magazines, wire services and online print publications have been awarded without charge in the past. Representatives for daily and periodical press galleries in the Capitol protested Monday that the media “should not be charged to cover elected officials at an event of enormous interest to the public.” The four-day event will be held in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.Full Article: Republicans to charge media to cover 2016 convention.
Virginia Republican Party leaders will gather later this month to decide whether to hold a presidential primary next year. Based on the past positions of the party’s State Central Committee, which will make the decision, a nominating convention seems more likely, party insiders said Wednesday. This is an ongoing struggle in the Republican Party of Virginia, but it takes on wider significance going into a presidential election year. The party’s right wing generally prefers conventions, figuring the dedicated folks willing to spend all Saturday in a political meeting will pick more conservative nominees. Others push for primaries, arguing that they help widen the party’s tent and juice the Republican ground game as GOP candidates traipse through the state and campaign volunteers collect voter information well ahead of general elections.Full Article: Virginia GOP ponders: Primary or convention in 2016 presidential race - Daily Press.
Editorials: The GOP’s worst nightmare and a pundit’s dream: A brokered convention in 2016 | Taegan Goddard/The Week
There are so many Republicans running for president, or thinking about running for president, that the Republican National Committee is having a hard time keeping track of them all. An official GOP online straw poll lists 36 potential candidates (and as Politico noted, that list actually missed at least two former governors who have said they’re mulling White House bids). Regardless of the final tally, it’s becoming increasingly clear that debate planners will need to come up with creative ways to fit so many podiums on the stage when the candidates first face off in August.Full Article: The GOP's worst nightmare and a pundit's dream: A brokered convention in 2016.
The Utah Republican Party filed a lawsuit Monday against the state’s new rule that allows candidates to bypass the caucus and convention system— a legal challenge to a measure approved by the majority of the state GOP. The measure was a compromise the Republican-dominated legislature reached with Count My Vote, which was gathering signatures for an initiative petition that would have let voters decide to abandon the caucus system. The initiative was backed by several high-profile Republicans including former Gov. Mike Leavitt and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, signed it into law. The law, scheduled to take effect next year, preserves Utah’s caucus-convention system but allows candidates to participate in primary elections as an alternative path if they gather enough signatures. Utah’s current, relatively unique system allows candidates to avoid a primary election if they win their party’s nominations with 60 percent of delegate votes.Full Article: Utah GOP sues over nominating system overhaul | The Sacramento Bee.
Charlie Baker’s bid to become the Republican nominee for governor hit another snag Thursday night when the chair of the rules committee for last Saturday’s convention said his party did not appear to follow its own rules. Steve Zykofsky, a longtime state committee member and chairman of the rules committee that developed the regulations for the GOP convention, said blank ballots should not have been counted in the final tally of votes that delegates cast to decide which candidates can run for governor. If those blank votes had been excluded, he said, Tea Party challenger Mark R. Fisher apparently would have qualified for the ballot, triggering a primary with Baker. “I support Charlie Baker for governor 100 percent — 110 percent perhaps,” said Zykofsky. “But the fact of the matter is, as rules committee chairman and a member of the state committee, I have to be fair.”Full Article: - Metro - The Boston Globe.
Congress on Tuesday agreed to cancel its giveaway of taxpayer money to its own political conventions every four years, as the Senate cleared a bill to cut off funds. Senators approved the bill by unanimous consent early Tuesday, sending it straight to President Obama for his signature. “This is the type of bipartisan legislation that should move easily through the Senate,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said as he pushed the bill through.Full Article: Congress bans taxpayer funding for political conventions - Washington Times.