Under the Dome

NC’s Republican delegation is heavy on Cruz supporters – but that won’t matter

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to the media prior to his rally at Calvary Baptist Church Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in Raleigh, N.C.
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to the media prior to his rally at Calvary Baptist Church Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in Raleigh, N.C. jhknight@newsobserver.com

North Carolina Republicans on Saturday selected their 72 delegates to the party’s national convention in Cleveland, and the majority of them were supporters of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

That would have given Cruz an advantage in a contested convention – but since he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped out, Donald Trump will win on the first ballot. And some of the delegates backing Cruz will be pledged to Trump. Any delegate who doesn’t follow their assignment to match the March 15 primary results will face a $10,000 penalty.

The “unity slate” of delegates approved by party leaders with the blessing of the presidential campaigns includes 21 Trump supporters, 38 Cruz supporters, two Kasich supporters, four Marco Rubio supporters and one Ben Carson supporter. Others elected didn’t list a candidate preference.

Among the notable Republican delegates selected Saturday: former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr for Kasich, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis for Rubio, N.C. Rep. Mike Hager for Trump, N.C. Sen. Ronald Rabin for Trump, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger for Trump and N.C. Rep. Pat Hurley for Trump.

House Speaker Tim Moore will serve as the state’s lone Carson delegate. N.C. Sen. John Alexander of Raleigh will attend the convention as an alternate for Trump.

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