- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

CENTREVILLE, Md. — Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has started losing votes over his agreement with John Kasich to divvy up states in an effort to thwart front-runner Donald Trump.

Larry Kroneberger said he was a Cruz supporter but the “fishy” deal with Mr. Kasich prompted him Tuesday to mark his ballot for Mr. Trump in Maryland’s Republican primary.

“It’s really fishy, boy,” said Mr. Kroneberger, 69, a refrigeration technician for the county school district in this small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a solidly Republican region in the deep-blue state.

Mr. Kroneberger’s description mirrored the “collusion” label that Mr. Trump sloped on his rivals’ deal, whereby by Mr. Kasich agreed to stop campaigning in Indiana and Mr. Cruz agreed to stop campaigning in Oregon and New Mexico.

Mr. Cruz, a U.S. senator form Texas, and Mr. Kasich, governor of Ohio, struck the deal in order to consolidate their support in different states, hopefully picking off more delegates and blocking Mr. Trump for securing the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the party convention in July.

But the agreement threatens to turn off voters such as Mr. Kroneberger who view it as another example of backroom deal-making and crooked politics that have made outsider and antiestablishment candidates popular this year.

“I don’t like what [Mr. Cruz] and Kasich are doing. I don’t think it is right,” he said.

Mr. Kroneberger said that he is uneasy with some of Mr. Trump’s over-the-top rhetoric “but he’s exactly what we need to change things around.”

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