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Trump campaign concerned about Indiana convention delegates

April 14, 2016

Donald Trump's Indiana chairman was among the 57 people announced Thursday as the state's national Republican convention delegates but the Trump campaign said it was worried because several of those picked have voiced opposition to the billionaire.

The Indiana Republican Party released the names of the state delegation amid complaints from Trump supporters that they are being shut out of delegate selection around the country for this summer's national convention.

Trump Indiana campaign chairman Rex Early is among the delegates who will be committed to a presidential candidate for the first national convention ballot based on Indiana's May 3 primary results, but not on any subsequent votes if there is a contested convention.

Tony Samuel, vice chairman of Trump's Indiana campaign, said that the campaign doesn't know the loyalties of many of the delegates but several names on the list are people who have said they're against Trump becoming the nominee.

"Based on what some are saying publicly, there is cause to be concerned," Samuel said.

More than half of the Republican delegation is made of state or local GOP leaders or elected office holders. That includes Early, who was state Republican chairman in the 1990s, as well as Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, Secretary of State Connie Lawson and state Treasurer Kelly Mitchell.

A complete list of the delegates can be found here.

The presidential campaigns had no formal role in picking the state delegates — and applications for the spots were due in mid-March, before the candidates began ramping up their Indiana operations.

Some delegates selected over the weekend at congressional district meetings complained about receiving email threats from Trump supporters. State police say a review determined the messages were political speech and not criminal.

Howard County GOP chairman Craig Dunn of Kokomo, who supports Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said he has received more than two dozen messages from Trump supporters by email or Facebook since word spread of his selection as a district representative.

Dunn said the messages "were calling me a traitor, ignorant and stupid and so on and so forth" and believes Trump's supporters were being enflamed by the rhetoric coming from Trump's campaign.

"What they don't understand is that we're not all lobbyists," said Dunn who compared local party leaders like himself to "foot soldiers" who spend time knocking on doors for local candidates.

Samuel condemned the threatening emails but said many Trump supporters are frustrated with the delegate selection process that has "no transparency" because it takes place during private party meetings.

"The best way for a Trump supporter to react to anything perceived or real with a delegate selection process that looks unfair is to get out and vote for Donald Trump on May 3," Samuel said. "This system can be very easily manipulated."

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Full list of Indiana GOP delegation: http://bit.ly/1VsySsj

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