GOP delegates are preparing for the Republican National Convention July 18-21

07/07/2016 03:10 PM

Forty-six delegates and 43 alternate delegates will soon travel to Cleveland, Ohio, to nominate their presidential candidate and weigh in on the national party platform when the Republican National Convention commences in 11 days.

The Republican Party of Kentucky is still getting last-minute details ironed out between the Republican National Committee and the campaign of likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, but the convention acts as more than just a nominating procedure.

“Every four years we have these conventions and they don’t just serve an official function to nominate our presidential nominee, but they also serve as a chance to talk about and communicate with the country on a broader spectrum who we are as a party, who we are as Republicans, and lay out the differences between ourselves and the Democratic Party,” RPK spokesman Tres Watson said.

Watson said there are some plans in place for Kentucky’s delegation, and he anticipates the delegates will have a full schedule, but the concrete plans for who may speak to the delegates is still in the organizational phase.

“A lot of these things with these conventions tend to be fluid right up until the actual convention start date,” Watson said. “The speaking schedule itself — who’s going to be speaking to what delegation, because we’re all involved in politics at varying levels and a lot of these people have their own campaigns at home … so it’s hard with large lead time to lock somebody down, so a lot of that is still in planning.”

As the convention takes shape for Kentucky’s delegates, there are the background talks about a potential anti-Trump rebellion and the possibility of rule changes freeing delegates from casting their support for Trump.

Watson said all bets are off if that rule change happens. The rules committee meets the Thursday and Friday prior to the convention, but he doesn’t expect a rules change will take place.

“There’s a couple things at play there: first of all delegates of both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention are actually bound by Kentucky state law to vote for who the primary voters in the state told them to,” he said. “Our delegates aren’t bound to a specific candidate — it’s not like there are 19 people on a list as they’re Trump people or 17 for Cruz people and seven for Rubio and seven for Kasich.”

When U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Gov. Matt Bevin, who are co-chairs of the delegation, stand to announce the votes they will cast the number of delegates committed in the primary, Watson said.

Watch the full interview with Watson about the Kentucky experience at the RNC in the video below.


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