A heated controversy erupted when Donald Trump’s campaign claimed that the Tennessee Republican Party was trying to steal some of Trump’s at-large delegates, replacing them with delegates who are anti-Trump. Not only did this happen to Trump, but Ted Cruz was also given delegates who don’t support him. At-large delegates are only bound to vote for their candidate during the first two ballots of the convention, which is why Trump and Cruz supporters are worried. Who are these “stolen” delegates? Where can you find their names?
Here’s what you need to know.
Not All of Trump’s Appointed Delegates Actually Support Him
Trump won the Tennessee primary on March 1 with 39 percent of the vote, guaranteeing him 33 of the state’s 58 delegates. Fourteen of these are appointed at-large delegates, of whom Trump gets seven. But for some reason, the delegates picked for Trump weren’t all the ones that Trump wanted. In fact, some of them outright dislike the presidential candidate.
Trump’s campaign said they reached an agreement with the Tennessee Party regarding who his at-large delegates would be, The Tennessean reported. The Tennessee Republican Party, meanwhile, said no such agreement was ever made.
Politico reported that Brent Leatherwood, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, said:
…Let’s set the record straight. There was never an agreement, especially after the Trump campaign spoke dismissively about the Party process and one of our female members.”
Trump supporters were outraged. This is just one video from the meeting:
Several of Trump’s allegedly promised delegates were not included on the finalized list. And several who were appointed to him were decidedly “anti-Trump,” according to his campaign. Meanwhile, Trump himself has not spoken out about this as of publication. His only tweet so far was positive:
At Least One Delegate Who Is Critical of Trump Said She Would Still ‘Absolutely’ Vote for Him at the Convention
Melissa Gay and Ken Gross are two of Trump’s at-large delegates who were said to be critical of him, according to News Channel 5. Keith Washington, a volunteer for Trump’s Tennessee campaign, gave screenshots of the delegates’ anti-Trump posts. One, allegedly made by Ken Gross, has been featured in multiple blogs and posts:
The above screenshot has not yet been authenticated. Gross has not made a public statement about his delegate status.
However, Melissa Gay has said that she will absolutely be voting for Trump as a delegate, even if he wasn’t her candidate of choice, The Tennessean reported:
I’m a party person. Mr. Trump is not my first choice, but he is my choice now. … My constituents voted for me to best represent them. Obviously, Trump won and I’ll be representing them.”
According to Rebecca Bynum’s New English Review blog, and several other Trump supporters, there may be additional delegates besides Gross and Gay who don’t support Trump. However, whether their being critical of Trump means they won’t vote for him after the second ballot isn’t known.
Cruz Was Also Given Delegates Who Don’t Support Him
Trump wasn’t the only candidate who ended up with delegates who disliked him, Breitbart reported. One of Cruz’s delegates, Chris Devaney, fights against Tea Party causes and isn’t friendly with Cruz. Of the 13 at-large delegates given to Cruz and Trump on Saturday, eight were loyal to the establishment and not their appointment candidate, according to Breitbart.
The delegates were chosen this way because the bylaws were changed, allowing appointments to be made with just the “advice” of the campaigns and not their “advice and consent.”
Here’s Where to Find the Full List of Delegates
The full list of delegates was released on Saturday. The entire list is available as a downloadable PDF on Dropbox here. The list includes all of Cruz and Trump’s delegates and alternates. It also includes Marco Rubio’s, since he is still keeping his Tennessee delegates. The list, unfortunately, does not designate which delegates are at-large and, thus, were appointed during the Tennessee Republican meeting on Saturday.