July 19, 2016
A sea red shirts descended on Cleveland today as the delegates at the Republican National Convention formally voted for their Presidential nominee.
At our Texas breakfast this morning we heard from the Speaker of the House and the Speaker of the House. Both Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus addressed the Texas delegation. We found out that Paul Ryan has many roots in the south, especially in Oklahoma and Texas. This is illustrated by the names of his dogs: Boomer and Sooner!!
John Tiegen, portrayed in the movie 13 Hours, addressed the group and gave his view of the lack of support that night at the Benghazi Embassy and Annex. There was a live auction for some memorabilia as well.
We had the afternoon free, and I was able to wander through downtown. Found a good spot for pizza at Guy’s at Superior and East Sixth Streets – two dollars a slice for pepperoni and it was good!
I took the RNC Express bus to the Arena around 3:00 PM and shopped at the Exhibit Halls. Didn’t buy too much. I then spent 30 minutes listening to the music at the stage just outside the arena, where delegates and guests were enjoy food, drink and music outside in the 80 degree weather (yes, much cooler than Dallas).
Our evening session started promptly at 5:30 PM, and after introductory speeches we got down to the business of the roll call. There were a few concerns as in three instances the votes in the official record were different than those reported at the microphone. In all three cases the local party rules indicated that a candidate not nominated at the National Convention could not receive votes, and all the delegates were automatically counted for Donald Trump.
This is where things got a little interesting. The press of course has been near the Texas Delegation since the convention began…we are the second biggest delegation and stand out in our hats and uniform clothing. Also, as Ted Cruz is our Senator, several members of the press asked our delegates if they thought the Texas vote should change, with our delegates supporting Cruz instead of Trump. My answer to several reporters tonight was simple….the vote of the delegation reflects the vote of the citizens of Texas, and should not be changed. You don’t change the rules in mid-stream.
As the vote was tallied I kept a running total of the vote, state by state (if you know me you are not surprised). As there was no running totals posted in the Arena, the press became aware very quickly of my running total. With every state delegation giving their report, I would update these totals, with a least six long-lensed cameras watching my every move and the totals. I ended up becoming the source for several floor reporters, although I did get the impress that while my tally, pen and hand made the news the rest of me did not.
Pennsylvania would have put Trump over the top, but they passed to let previous passed New York give Trump the nomination. In the final tally Donald Trump had well over 1700 delegates, with 1237 needed for the nomination.
The evening ended with a series of speeches. Our speakers included former U.S. Representative Chris Cox, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Governor Chris Christie, Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Dr. Ben Carson.
We adjourned around 10:40 for the night.
I cannot emphasize enough the job Cleveland has done on this convention. Everywhere you look are people willing to help, always with a smile. Also, as I stated yesterday, security is extremely visible, whether around the city, stationed at check points, or on rooftops in sniper positions. Cleveland Rocks!!
Neal J. Katz
Collin County Republican Party