Gayle Ruzicka Campaigns to Free Delegates From State Party Control
Conservative Utah Activist Gayle Ruzicka has asked Utah delegates to vote their conscience at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland later this month. That runs contrary to rules that Republicans in Utah have set.
Utah GOP rules require delegates to vote for the candidate who prevailed in state caucuses.
Gayle Ruzicka is one of those delegates. She signed a pledge to vote for Senator Ted Cruz. But Ruzicka says, if she or other delegates want to change their vote at the national convention, they can. She says that’s because the party’s national rules forbid state’s from binding their delegates to a candidate.
“If their conscience tells them that they should break their pledge to Ted Cruz and vote for Donald Trump, that’s their business,” Ruzicka says.
Ruzicka is working with a nationwide campaign called Free the Delegates. It’s asking the RNC rules committee to allow delegates to “vote their conscience”. While Ruzicka says the campaign is based on principal, she says she recognizes the move would allow delegates who are bound to Donald Trump in other states to vote for someone else at convention.
Ron Fox is with the Donald Trump for President Utah Committee.
“I think you’re going to find that most people out of fairness since he won the primaries throughout the United States in a fair manner, that they will give him the nomination,” Fox says.
Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans disagrees with Ruzicka’s interpretation of the RNC rules. He says delegates are bound by the rules of the state party.
RNC Spokesman Sean Spicer said in a Tweet last month, Donald Trump bested 16 candidates and received more primary votes than any candidate in Republican Party history. He added, any discussion about the RNC Rules Committee acting to undermine Trump is quote “silly”.