From the Times-Free Press (with a Tennessean excerpt following):
In a sometimes raucous meeting with security guards inside and police outside, Tennessee GOP leaders today approved a list of appointed delegates to this summer’s Republican National Convention over the protests of Donald Trump supporters who charged some had opposed the billionaire reality star and businessman.
Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee members voted 40-25 for the slate, prepared by state GOP Chairman Ryan Haynes and his staff with the “advice” but, under a 2013 SEC rule change previously unnoticed, not the consent of Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio campaigns.
Daren Morris, Trump’s state director, sounded the alarm Friday evening, blasting out a message to supporters that charged state GOP leaders “want to steal your vote tomorrow” and urging them to show up to stop the effort in its tracks.
At least 40 Trump supporters paraded outside with signs denouncing “establishment” Republicans while executive committee members inside fought on a series of procedural votes to block final approval. Despite sometimes angry rhetoric both inside and outside, there was no violence.
Some supporters of U.S. Sen. Cruz, R-Texas, weren’t happy with the selections either.
…”What I see here is a microcosm on what’s going on in all 50 states,” said Chris Hughes, a SEC member from Sumner County, who warned voters fear establishment figures “are going to do something and try to take their votes away.The dispute involved 14 party-appointed delegates including six slots for Trump.
“I fear that train wreck is headed to Cleveland,” Hughes said.
Trump protesters weren’t allowed inside with state party officials explaining they were concerned about violating fire safety codes on capacity.
…The dispute involved 14 party-appointed delegates including including six slots for Trump.
Note: Among the party-appointed delegates for Trump are John Ryder of Memphis, who is also general counsel of the Republican National Committee, and Tennessee’s Republican National Committeeman. Peggy Lambert of Maryville, the state’s National Committeewoman, is also designated as a Trump delegate. Gov. Bill Haslam and state GOP Chairman Ryan Haynes are designated as Rubio delegates. Former state GOP Chairman Chris Devaney was appointed a Cruz delegate. A list of delegate names, as provided by party officials, is at the bottom of a post on the TNGOP press release, HERE.
Excerpt from The Tennessean, starting with another from Morris:
“The party chair is a puppet. He is doing the bidding of the party establishment to take the nomination away from Donald Trump.”
Brent Leatherwood, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, said the party didn’t have any agreement and accused the Trump campaign of rabble-rousing.
“Instead of stirring up strife and grossly mischaracterizing the conversation that took place between Mr. Morris and Chairman Haynes, let’s set the record straight. There was never an agreement, especially after the Trump campaign spoke dismissively about the Party process and one of our female members,” Leatherwood said, without specifying which member.
“Regardless of that, the TNGOP will fill out the remaining delegate spots consistent with our bylaws, state law, and the results of the March 1st Presidential Primary.”