With some misgivings, prominent Tennessee supporters of Ted Cruz are ready to support Donald Trump for president now that the Texas senator has suspended his campaign, reports The Tennessean.
Tennessee House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada, who voted for Cruz in the state’s March primary, said he will ultimately back Trump in the November election, even though he didn’t see eye to eye with the New York businessman.
“I’m just not convinced he’s an intellectual conservative,” Casada, R-Franklin, said Tuesday night about Trump… Nonetheless, Casada said in a race pitting Trump against Clinton, there’s no question as to whom he will support.
…Steve Gill, a former conservative radio talk show host from Brentwood and a Cruz Tennessee delegate, called Cruz’s exit from the race disappointing but commended the senator for recognizing the political reality he faced.
Gill indicated he would eventually rally behind Trump, but said the repeated personal attacks from Trump against Cruz could make it difficult for some Cruz loyalists to get energized behind the presumptive nominee.
…State Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, also backed Cruz and said he was disappointed but will support the eventual GOP nominee.
“It’s pretty clear, though, the American people and the people of Tennessee believe that Donald Trump can best go to Washington, D.C., and reverse the downward spiral caused by both parties,” Green said. “He just seems to change people and clearly we need a fresh start.”
…Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, said she was surprised by Cruz’s decision to drop out of the race, but respects his decision.
“Donald Trump was not my first choice, but if he is our nominee, I will support him,” Harwell said.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, said the choice is now clear.
“Hillary Clinton must be stopped and Donald Trump can stop her,” Ramsey said in a statement. “Trump has given voice to frustrated and alienated voters who had all but given up on the political process. He is building a coalition that can defeat Hillary Clinton and make America great again — but only if all Republicans and conservatives unite with him.”