On Saturday, over 650 Oregon Republican Precinct Committee Persons from across the state met in Salem and voted for delegates to the National Republican Party Convention almost entirely from a conservative coalition slate of candidates.
Based on the results of Oregon’s May 17 Primary Election, 10 at large delegates and 1 delegate from each of Oregon’s 5 congressional districts will vote for Donald Trump for President in Cleveland this July. Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich each will have 5 delegates as well.
The purpose of Saturday’s Convention was primarily to elect these delegates to the National Republican Convention. But, as the presumptive Republican nominee is now businessman Donald Trump, what was at stake on Saturday was the party’s platform, not who the delegates will support in a contested convention.
A coalition of Oregon grassroots conservative groups promoted a “Grassroots Coalition Slate” of delegates who committed to protecting the fundamental planks of the Republican Party Platform. Out of 25 delegates that were elected Saturday, 22 of them were on the Slate.
“We are pleased that a broad coalition of conservative organizations and leaders came together to support the Grassroots Coalition Delegate Slate,” said Jack Louman, Executive Director of the Oregon Family Council. “The candidates from the Grassroots Slate elected Saturday by the precinct committee people at the delegate selection convention will represent Oregon well at the National Republican Convention this summer. The delegation from Oregon is committed to protecting conservative values in the party platform and as we work together great things can be accomplished in 2016.”
The convention took about 11 hours and involved other party business including the election of alternate delegates and other party positions. The meeting became contentious when a group supporting another slate of candidates challenged the rules in order to increase the chances of their slate winning alternate delegate positions.
Saturday’s delegate fight comes at a time when national and local groups have been working to change the Republican Party’s platform on social issues. Left-leaning Republicans are bankrolling a multi-million dollar nationwide effort led by the American Unity Fund to pull the GOP party’s National platform away from its conservative roots. This same organization’s Super PAC, funded by billionaire hedge fund managers, spent over a quarter of a million dollars last month supporting Ben West for U.S. Congress in Oregon’s 5th District. West lost the Republican Primary to conservative candidate Colm Willis by 36%.
The 25 newly elected Republican delegates join 3 non-elected delegates to represent the state party at the GOP National Convention, which will be held between July 18th and July 21st in Cleveland, Ohio.
Oregon Family Council, Oregon Right to Life, Taxpayer Association of Oregon, Oregon Small Business Association, the Donald Trump and Ted Cruz campaigns and several other groups from across the state were all part of the Grassroots Coalition.