Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Party Time: State's Prospective GOP Delegates Look Ahead to Convention

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Party Time: State's Prospective GOP Delegates Look Ahead to Convention

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - When Republicans gather in Cleveland this summer to select their presidential nominee, 43 Oklahomans will be in the crowd to represent the state's GOP electorate.

The first 15 of those delegates will be selected at five congressional district meetings across the state next month. Logan Lyon hopes he will be elected Saturday to be his district's sole Ted Cruz delegate.

Lyon, a Canadian County Republican, said he's never been this active in his party before.

"You don't know if you don't try and, to me, that's the first step is putting your name out there," Lyon said.

He doesn't know the odds of whether he'll be chosen.

Cruz will get 15 Oklahoma delegates because he had the most votes in the state primary. Donald Trump will have 13 and Marco Rubio, who has suspended his campaign but not released his delegates, has 12.

If Rubio releases his delegates to vote how they wish, those 12 votes can go to either of the two remaining top candidates or someone else who's able to draw away votes from Cruz and Trump.

"I think it's pretty obvious that this convention, delegates are going to have an outsized influence," said Lyon. "It's not really just a showpiece anymore. It's not a pro forma action. It actually has an impact on the nomination process."

The way state Sen. David Holt sees it, Rubio supporters could have an influence on who is nominated if neither candidate reaches a majority of pledged delegates before the convention. That includes the Rubio supporters who will make up more than a fourth of the Oklahoma delegation.

Holt, who chaired Rubio's Oklahoma campaign, said there hasn't been an organized push by the Rubio campaign to vet prospective delegates. Still, he said, Rubio wants to have some influence in preventing a Trump nomination.

"In this case, we have every expectation of a contested convention where your loyalties will be somewhat critical," he said. "Your personal opinion will be more relevant than it's ever been before."

Steve Dickson, a 2012 GOP national convention delegate, said there are other ways to affect the result. …

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