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Supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz and former GOP candidate Marco Rubio have joined forces in an effort to block delegates from Republican front-runner Donald Trump in Arkansas.
With Rubio’s departure from the presidential race on March 15, many in his camp have lined up behind Cruz, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Arkansas Republican primary on March 1 saw Cruz win 15 out of the 40 delegates, with Trump garnering 16 delegates and Rubio nine. Trump won that primary with 32.8 percent of the vote.
But supporters of former rivals Cruz and Rubio are uniting in hopes of loading the state delegation with those who will vote against Trump in the case of a contested convention in Cleveland.
By supporting the Texas senator, Rubio insiders are seeking to win over delegates who would vote for Cruz in a floor fight, according to the Examiner.
“I’ve got a great working relationship with the state director for Rubio and I think generally what we’re looking for is about the same,” state Rep. Bob Ballinger and Cruz’s Arkansas co-chairman told the Examiner. “We’ll be working together to make sure the right delegates are selected.”
Even though Rubio is no longer in the running, his nine delegates are obligated to vote for him on the first ballot in Cleveland, according to Arkansas GOP rules.
While the Cruz campaign continues to operate the system efficiently, Trump’s camp has been disorganized and ineffective. “The Trump Campaign continues what seems to be an eclectic version of a campaign,” an anonymous Arkansas GOP insider told the Examiner. “They’re not sending their preferred list, they’re not having people vetted to make sure they’re Trump people.”
Cruz remains an active presence in many of the local elections while Trump’s apparent absence from the process could hurt him in the long run.
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