Despite predictions of a contested national convention, Republicans in Georgia’s 10th and 12th congressional districts selected delegates Saturday based on unity and party service rather than presidential candidates.
Each district across Georgia selected three delegates and three alternates for the Republican convention in Cleveland this summer. They are bound to support candidates on the convention’s first ballot based on the tally from Georgia’s March 1 primary, which Donald Trump won.
If Trump doesn’t collect a majority of pledged delegates before arriving in Cleveland, many observers think he is unlikely to win if the vote goes to a second or third ballot, when those bound to him are free to vote for another candidate.
Party regulars voting Saturday at the 10th and 12th district meetings were more focused on achieving unity during the fall in order to win the White House. Predictions of nasty fights between supporters of Ted Cruz and Trump did not occur.
“There really was not,” said Rep. Barry Fleming, the chairman of the 12th District convention held in Douglas, about 150 miles south of Augusta.
Both campaigns repeatedly e-mailed those going to the district conventions to build support, although the Cruz camp was more active than Trump’s.
Cruz volunteers were outside the movie theater in Greensboro where the 10th District convention was held, handing out fliers listing people they wanted elected as delegates. Trump supporters also wanted to pin down who the delegates would support on the second ballot, but that wasn’t what most people at the district meetings were interested in.
“It seems that those who said they would select one candidate no matter what didn’t get selected,” said Mack Taylor, a former Columbia County commissioner attending the 10th District meeting.
Support went to party veterans who have spent years volunteering for various candidates.
“I’d say they all lean toward people who have been around for a long time,” said John Cumbee, Bulloch County’s GOP chairman.
The 10th District also passed a resolution in support of the “religious freedom” bill that Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed, and another in favor of school choice.