- Associated Press - Saturday, April 9, 2016

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Eleven of the 12 Iowa GOP delegates chosen at the state party’s four district conventions held across the state on Saturday have voiced their support for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, bested the rest of the GOP field in the Iowa caucus in February.

Cruz’s successes on Saturday came at the expense of Trump, the Republican front-runner whose campaign had vocal groups of supporters at each convention, the Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/25RQCQR ). None of the delegates selected Saturday pledged to back Trump.

The lone delegate not backing Cruz is Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a former official in Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration and a former congressional candidate. She declined to commit to any candidate on Saturday.

“I’m going to vote for the Republican,” Miller-Meeks said, laughing. “We’re bound on the first ballot for the caucus winner. After that, I haven’t committed to anyone. I’m willing to have an open mind.”

The show of support for Cruz in Iowa continued to squeeze Trump’s narrow path to the nomination. Still, Trump is heavily favored in the upcoming round of northeastern primaries, especially in the billionaire’s home state of New York on April 19. Ohio Gov. John Kasich also remains in the race.

Iowa will send a total of 30 delegates to the national convention in Cleveland this summer, including the 12 selected on Saturday, 15 “at-large” delegates elected as a slate at the May state convention and three statewide party leaders.

Delegates’ supported candidate will not matter in the national convention’s first round of balloting, but it could be decisive in subsequent rounds, as delegates are unbound from the results of their states’ primaries and caucuses and allowed to vote their conscience.

Among Cruz supporters in Iowa headed to the national convention is state Sen. Jason Schultz of Schleswig.

“We will have Trump or Cruz,” Schultz said. “I have not said anything bad about Trump publicly because I have people whom I like and I respect who support him. But in my heart and my mind and gut, Sen. Cruz will be our next presidential candidate.”


Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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