Jazz Shaw, hotair.com
It’s been over a month since the Tennessee GOP primary, which took place on March 1st, so one might imagine that the wrangling over their participation in the national convention in Cleveland would be well in our rear view mirror. One would be wrong.
The final tallies produced Trump as the winner in that primary with roughly 39% of the vote, with both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio also beating the state’s 20% threshold to qualify for delegates. That translates to a total of 33 delegates for Trump, 16 for Cruz and 9 for Rubio. Easy enough, right? Well.. not quite. Those are the numbers, but at the end of the voting we didn’t know all the names. The delegates assigned from each congressional district (3 each) were selected by the voters and they are all presumably dedicated to their candidates. But because of the strange way Tennessee (along with most of the other states) breaks up their delegate allocation, they only accounts for roughly 30 of them. The remaining 28 delegates, allocated based on the state-wide vote, are divided into two groups of 14 each. By the state party rules, those names are selected as follows: (emphasis added)
The 28 (10 at-large, 18 bonus) At-Large delegates are bound to Presidential candidates based on the results of the primary. Half are elected in the primary and half are appointed by the Executive Committee with the consent of the respective Presidential campaigns. When determining “half” divide the total number of At-Large plus bonus delegates by 2. If there are fractional delegates, round up the number of delegates appointed by the Executive Committee and round down the number of delegates determined by the Primary. [Article IX. Rule C. Section 2.]
So 14 of the names were determined by the primary election… all well and good. But then we come to the final 14 who are “appointed by the Executive Committee with the consent of the respective Presidential campaigns.” Those appointments took place yesterday. Trump, as the winner, was supposed to get seven of those delegates and his campaign submitted names for each slot. But when it came time for the final selection, things took a turn and the Trump people are not happy. Some of the names they submitted disappeared and were replaced by folks who are being described as distinctly “anti-Trump.” (The Tennessean)
“A few of those names are still on there,” [Trump campaign state director Darren] Morris said. “Most of them are not. Most of them are very anti-Trump people. In fact, I’ve been told a few of them are very much anti-Trump and they’re there to do the bidding of the RNC.”
Morris said two of the pro-Trump at-large delegates supported by the campaign, but now taken off the list, are Republican state Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and Mark Winslow, former chief of staff of the Tennessee Republican Party. Both men were delegate candidates in the March 1 primary. Morris said Ketron is now slated to be an alternate delegate and that Winslow is no longer even on the list.
For a selection process that was supposed to take place with the “consent” of the candidates, that sounds a bit off tone. I checked with some of the locals and got similar responses to these which were tweeted by state senator Frank Nicely.