Oregon GOP eliminates unbound superdelegates
SALEM — Oregon's Republican Party has changed its rules to eliminate superdelegates, meaning more delegates could go to the winner of the state's May 17 primary.
Until now, the state party's top three leaders were able to support any candidate at national conventions, regardless of the primary results, reported The Bulletin. But the party approved a rule change during a Medford meeting last week that will require its leaders to vote according to the primary results.
If there is a contested convention, Oregon's Republican leaders will have to vote according to the peoples' wishes during the first two rounds of voting.
"Whoever gets the most votes will probably get the three of us," said Bill Currier, one of the three formerly unbound delegates and the chairman of the Oregon Republican Party.
The rule involves just three of the 2,472 delegates attending the GOP's July convention in Cleveland, but that could make a difference in a tight race to amass the 1,237 delegates need to win.
Donald Trump is currently leading the Republican field with 742 pledged delegates, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has 516 and Ohio Gov. John Kasich has 143.
Oregon made the change at the behest of the Republican National Committee, which is hoping to avoid candidates lobbying to win over unbound delegates. That happened in 2012, when Republican Ron Pauls' supporters won over unbound delegates from Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee.
"We wanted to make it the same. We're no different. We all have a vote. We wanted to conform to the same rules that the rest of the delegates did," said Donna Cain, another formerly unbound delegate and the state party's national committeewoman.