- Associated Press - Sunday, June 19, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - At least two of the several Arizona GOP delegates who have stepped down say it’s because they refuse to vote for Donald Trump at next month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Nine of the state’s 58 delegates have resigned. Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Frank Riggs and Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim reform advocate, both said they were willing to go when there was a chance the convention could be contested.

Riggs, a former California congressman, said his main reason for resigning was to focus on his wife’s campaign for justice of the peace. But he also acknowledged having “very serious reservations” about Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Riggs said he “realized that I couldn’t go to Cleveland in good conscience and vote for his (Trump’s) nomination.”

“I guess if there are political consequences, I’ll face those down,” Riggs told the Arizona Capitol Times (https://bit.ly/1YAP0YU ).

In his resignation letter to party officials, Jasser called Trump a “daily embarrassment to conservatism.” The Phoenix doctor said he has supported Republican candidates despite disagreeing on some issues.

But as a Muslim, Jasser takes issue with Trump’s proposal for a ban on Muslim immigrants. He believes the U.S. should temporarily stop immigration in general until the country can find a better strategy to weed out extremists, not demonize Muslims.

“The inability of a presidential candidate who has one of the largest platforms on the planet to thread the needle between identifying Islamism, the theocratic ideology of political Islam, as a threat, and Muslims and Islam coming to terms with modernity as a solution, is beyond a liability,” Jasser said.

The other resigning delegates include top elected officials such as Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Secretary of State Michele Reagan. They have all cited other professional and personal commitments - not Trump - as the reason for missing the convention.

Brnovich spokesman Ryan Anderson said the attorney general wants to spend time with his family so he gave up his position, allowing a grass-roots volunteer could attend. Matt Roberts, Reagan’s spokesman, said she needs to focus on preparing for Arizona’s Aug. 30 primary election.

State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt, who is the Arizona chairman for Trump’s campaign, said he resigned so that two others could attend. But he is still going to the convention.

He was not surprised that delegates have dropped out. He said many were only interested in going to the convention when they thought Cruz could wrestle away the nomination.


Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, https://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com

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