Cruz wins statewide, in Big Horn County

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took the lion’s share of delegates as the Wyoming Republican Party conducted its county conventions on Saturday, electing 12 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland scheduled for July 18-21.

Cruz picked up nine delegates, followed by Marco Rubio with one and Donald Trump with one. One delegate will go as undeclared.

County delegates, elected by their neighbors at the GOP precinct caucuses held between Feb. 16 and March 1, cast their votes for the delegate committed to the presidential candidate of their choice. All delegates to the national convention were required to commit in writing to support one of the presidential candidates, or stand for election as an “undeclared” delegate.

Wyoming Republicans will elect another 14 national convention delegates at the GOP state convention scheduled for April 14-16 in Casper. Including the state GOP chairman and national committeewoman and Committeeman, Wyoming will take 29 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Janice Wantulok, chairman of the Big Horn County Republicans, said 35 to 40 people attended their county convention Saturday evening at the Basin Eagles. Twenty-two of them were registered Republicans and either a precinct committeeman or a precinct committeewoman — and for the purposes of the convention, that made them official voting delegates. The final tally of their votes showed 16 for Cruz, five for Trump and one for Kasich, according to Wantulok.

The BHC Republicans also elected 15 people to attend the state convention and chose Rob DiLorenzo, an attorney in Emblem, to serve as an alternate to attend the national convention. He will vote if the person elected by GOP voters in Sheridan County is unable to attend.

While happy with the turnout, Wantulok said there is a movement afoot to replace the caucus system that the Wyoming Republicans now use to select their presidential candidate of choice with an actual election.

“There has been a lot of confusion this year about it,” she said, predicting that it’ll be a topic of conversation at the state convention. An earlier primary election has been mentioned as one possibility.

For Big Horn County Republicans, the focus now shifts to the Lincoln Day Dinner April 2 in Lovell. U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi is expected to attend, as are several of the candidates vying to replace Cynthia Lummis in the U.S. House.