Cruz operatives were busy last week in the Show Me State snatching delegates away from frontrunner Donald Trump.
Cruz shows up Trump in Missouri delegate fight https://t.co/ClzHWX3tJ5
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 19, 2016
According to Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul, who attended the Wild Horse township caucus in St. Louis County on April 9, former Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones brought a slate of Cruz delegates that supported the second-place presidential candidate. Jones’ slate won.
Despite the effort to stack the deck, Missouri’s secretary of state Jason Kander officially declared last Tuesday Trump won a narrow victory over Cruz. Kinder also declared Hillary Clinton won a close race against rival Bernie Sanders.
Missouri secretary of state officially calls state for Trumphttps://t.co/Yv6NqsIRZT
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 12, 2016
“Those things don’t pass the smell test,” Paul said about the delegate count. “We had a slate that we presented which was more a reflection of the will of the people, and their slate was filled with Cruz supporters,” he told The Missouri Times.
He said voters may think twice about bothering to vote if the delegate count is rigged.
“A winner-take-all primary is a clear referendum of who we want to choose for our nomination,” Paul said. “Political Kabuki theater is thwarted when you have a process like that. I think that the process right now, it allows for political insiders and campaigns to push for a strategic movement that only benefits themselves.”
Over the top delegate rigging has the potential to damage the Republican party, Paul added.
“This is going to throw a wedge into the Republican party if Trump wins the majority of delegates that are bound but not the nomination. I think that’s really going to damage the party,” he said.
In Pennsylvania, a similar effort is underway. NBC reports Cruz’s network is working to corral the state’s unbound delegates.
— iConservative Radio (@libertycrn) April 19, 2016
“It’s very telling that’s Ted Cruz tonight is not in Brooklyn or Manhattan or any of the boroughs or state. He’s in Pennsylvania,” Hallie Jackson reports.
“That’s indicative of where he and his campaign see this race going, to Pennsylvania, where they are looking to make a play for these unbound delegates. Even if they come in a distant third, a top campaign aide tells me, they will still, they believe, pick up more than half the delegates there.”