By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Saturday, April 9, US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) was elected to Chair the Alabama GOP delegation headed to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said, “Super ALGOP RNC Delegation meeting today in Montgomery. Selected Senator Jeff Sessions as our delegation chairman for Cleveland. With 8 committee members elected, first step done. Next up: election of alternate delegates on May 21. Anyone interested may find info at www.algop.org elections resource page. Qualifying opens Monday. Here we go! We want our nation back! In for the win!”
Senator Sessions has made national headlines for his staunch support for New York City billionaire businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump. Trump won Alabama in a landslide and is likely to have the most delegates coming in to the convention.
The Alabama GOP delegation to Cleveland elected Chess Bedsole and Kathryn Long to represent the state on the Credentials committee.
The delegation chose State Representative Jim Carnes (R-Vestavia) and Judy Carnes for the important Platform Committee.
The delegation elected former State Representative Perry Hooper Jr. and Jenna Boggs to represent Alabama on the Permanent Organizations committee.
State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) and Laura Payne were both elected to represent Alabama on the Rules Committee. If Donald Trump does not come to the convention with the necessary 1237 delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot, rules will have an enormously pivotal role to play in setting just what the rules are for nominating candidates from the floor.
At the last convention, delegates for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney stacked the rules committee. They changed the GOP rules so that the only people that could be candidates on the ballot were candidates who won eight states. This was done to block efforts by Congressman Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) delegates to thwart Romney on the first ballot and then sway the convention to Rep. Paul. US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won Colorado over the weekend giving him his eighth state. He and Donald Trump will likely be the only candidates to reach that threshold. Whether to keep the 2012 rule number 40 or not will be one of the major issues before the rules committee. The rules committee meets before the convention to set the rules for the convention.
While Trump leads in total delegates, most of those delegates are bound to Trump just for one or two ballots. Most delegates are free to changes allegiances after just one or two ballots. A prominent Cruz campaign team leader told the Alabama Political Reporter that the Cruz team was targeting Trump delegates and were negotiating with them to switch sides on the second ballot.
If Trump wins 1237 delegates he will not have to contend with a second ballot.