- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota delegates to the Republican National Convention gave presidential nominee Donald Trump high marks for his acceptance speech, which they believe set the tone for a win in November.

“If I’m the Democrats, I’m a little concerned right now,” said Kelly Armstrong, a state senator from Dickinson and North Dakota’s GOP party chairman.

Armstrong said Trump’s 75-minute speech Thursday “had the right mix of discipline and off-the-cuff comments.”

Rep. Roscoe Streyle, R-Minot, who was among the 28 North Dakota delegates in Cleveland this week, said Trump came off as “presidential.”

“I don’t know how you could walk away from the convention and not think he is a leader,” Streyle said. “There was a lot more substance than we’ve seen before. And clearly he is well prepared and ready to lead this country into a new direction, which is sorely needed.”

North Dakota delegates said Trump painted a realistic picture of the country’s problems and made forceful promises to fix them. He also played to hard-line Republican themes while also appealing to traditionally Democratic constituencies, they said.

“He really hit on the issues and all aspects of what needs to be addressed,” said Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck. “There was a lot of inclusion of minorities, gays and women.”

North Dakota delegates said no one from the group booed Sen. Ted Cruz when he did not endorse Trump earlier in the week.

“We were ‘North Dakota nice,’” Armstrong said, referring to the state’s hesitant-to-publicly-criticize philosophy.

Streyle, who had supported Cruz prior to the convention, said he would never support the Texas senator again.

“I won’t vote for him no matter what,” Streyle said. “He’s a sore loser.”

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