Cruz Support Still Strong In Washington GOP Delegation

Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A number of Washington state delegates to the Republican National Convention circulated petitions Tuesday seeking to nominate then Texas senator alongside presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

It marked the second day that Washington delegates at the convention in Cleveland were involved in efforts to get Cruz on the presidential ballot.

Washington delegate Brenda High said she signed the petition when it was initially circulated among delegates last week, but she had little hope that it would be successful.

“We were so ramrodded yesterday, I don’t think there is any possibility,” High told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “The fix is in, so to speak.”

Washington delegate Marc Perez, a Cruz supporter, said other delegates were trying to get the petitions signed, but he refused to because Cruz “is out of the race.”

While he does not favor Trump, Perez said Trump “has fulfilled all requirements of a nominee, and I respect that process.”

While Trump won the Washington GOP primary, Cruz forces at the state convention in Pasco were able to pack the 44-member state delegation to the national convention with Cruz supporters.

Washington delegates continued to seethe after Monday’s defeat in seeking a state-by-state roll call vote at the opening of the convention in Cleveland. They pushed to hold a roll call on whether to change the party’s rules in ways that would take power from GOP leaders. That bid included an effort to let delegates back any candidate they want, instead of having to vote for Trump on the first ballot.

Delegate Eric Minor said the failure of the roll-call effort on a voice vote “was a sham, pure and simple,” saying it was “a move more appropriate to communist Cuba or Stalinist Russia.”

Meanwhile, accusations of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech on Monday night reverberated with the Washington state delegation.

“On a whim I clicked on the link and watched it, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump side by side phrase for phrase. It was surreal. Clear plagiarism,” Minor wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “I almost don’t want to spend time on it but it is reflective of the fake, reality TV, carnival sideshow that would be a Trump presidency.”

___

This story corrects the first name of Perez to Marc, not Mark.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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