- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho delegates to the Republican National Convention declined to sign a petition to have Texas Sen. Ted Cruz nominated as the GOP’s presidential candidate.

Instead, Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates said in a telephone interview Tuesday that the state’s Cruz leadership team had promised that Idaho delegates would not participate in any anti-Donald Trump demonstrations or walkouts during the nominating process.

Cruz won the state’s primary in March, but Idaho’s prominent Republicans are backing Trump. Cruz secured 20 of the state’s 32 delegates while Trump captured just 12 delegates. Cruz has since ended his presidential campaign and Trump became the GOP nominee Tuesday evening.

Fellow Gem State delegate Elaine King said despite supporting Monday’s failed attempt to force a roll call vote, she does not support unbinding the delegates and did not sign a petition to get Cruz’s name nominated.

King said she backed the roll call because she wanted to change party rules that currently give the majority of the power to GOP leaders. However, doing so would have included an effort to let delegates back any candidate on the first ballot.

“We were disgruntled because we were shut down, but we did not want anything to do with unbinding,” King said. “We wanted our conservative rules to be considered.”

State Treasurer Ron Crane, chairman of Idaho’s delegation, announced the delegates on the convention floor in Cleveland during the formal roll call of states.

“Idaho is the most Republican state in the nation,” Crane said, also touting the Gem State’s famous potatoes and Republican-dominant roots. “We are so Republican that when we say the Pledge of Allegiance, it’s ‘to the Republicans for which it stands.’”

Meanwhile, Yates praised Monday’s speakers, saying that the Idaho delegation spoke positively of the night before during this morning’s events.

He added that Melania Trump’s speech was the perfect capstone to the evening and downplayed the negative criticism that she had possibly plagiarized sections of her speech.

“The lines I heard last night are lines I’ve heard at hundreds, if not thousands, of speeches from politicians in my lifetime,” Yates said. I really doubt anyone has a copyright on these ideas … to me, this is a cheap shot.”

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