- Associated Press - Sunday, May 22, 2016

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Eight of 13 Vermont delegates elected during the Vermont Republican Convention to go to the national convention this summer are supporters of presumptive presidential GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Still ambivalence and unease about the New York real estate billionaire were readily apparent during Saturday’s convention.

Party leaders called for unity and argued that at least Trump would appoint conservative cabinet members, the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/1TsigeG ) reported. They also stressed that Trump was highly preferable to Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Trump won about one-third of Vermont’s primary vote March 1, followed closely by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has since dropped out of the race.

Some Vermont Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, who is running for governor, have disavowed Trump. His primary opponent Bruce Lisman and others say it’s better to have an open mind.

“People are pretty angry,” Lisman said. “And so it’s silly simply to say ‘I reject him.’”

Art Peterson, of Clarendon, is a strong supporter of Trump.

“He’s a guy who doesn’t follow the normal course, and it causes people to think out of the box and to have a different outlook,” Clarendon told the Free Press. “We need that different outlook.”

Elizabeth Niekrewicz, of Williston, had mixed feelings.

“I’m going to support Donald Trump in the election because I would much rather have him than Hillary,” she said. “But overall, I don’t know if he’s really going to make the Republican Party look good.”

Trump’s candidacy has discouraged at least one young Republican.

Jason Maulucci, president of Vermont College Republicans, submitted his name to be a national delegate about a month ago, but stopped seeking a slot after Trump became the presumptive nominee.

“Almost half of being president is knowing when not to say something,” Maulucci said. “I don’t know if Mr. Trump possesses those skills.”

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