Donald Trump won last month’s Louisiana Republican primary, but that won’t stop Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) from winning more delegates, despite his second place finish.
Both candidates won 18 delegates each in the March 5 contest, but Cruz has reportedly used his influence to entice more delegates into supporting him, concentrating his efforts on convention committees with the power to deny Trump the GOP nomination. Trump threatened to file a lawsuit over delegate rules in response.
Bribery of elected officials is prohibited by federal and state law. But there is very little on record about what a private citizen serving as a delegate for their party’s convention can accept in exchange for a vote on a nominating ballot.
Trump needs 1,237 delegates to become the Republican nominee, currently leading 736 to Cruz’s 463. But if Cruz wants to usurp Trump’s delegate lead, swaying even a small number of delegates could be important. The ten Louisiana delegates Cruz seeks come from two places; half of them originally supported former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, whom Republicans once touted as a potential foil to the seemingly unstoppable Trump, but who lacked the wins to support the proposed narrative. The other half are not pledged to a particular candidate.
Ron Nehring, national spokesman for the Cruz campaign, criticized Trump’s threatened
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