As expected, Texas Senator Ted Cruz secured all but one of the 12 delegate spots that were up for grabs on Saturday at the Republican District conventions across the state. The Cruz campaign faced minimal competition from an unorganized Trump campaign. The only delegate spot that the Cruz campaign was unable to claim on Saturday went to Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a three-time congressional candidate who remains popular in Iowa’s second congressional district.
The Cruz campaign also won a majority of seats on the statewide nominating committee that will fill a slate of 15 delegates that will be voted on at the state convention next month. Cruz is likely to get the majority of the at-large delegates, but most people expect the committee to be more willing to build a balanced slate than the supporters of Ron Paul built four years ago.
With the likelihood that Donald Trump will be unable to garner the necessary 1237 delegates to claim the Republican nominations growing, the makeup of the Iowa delegation matters immensely to the Cruz campaign.
There was a common message from those running for national delegate in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District on Saturday. They intended to vote for Cruz on the first and second ballots, but also pledged not to change the current rules that will govern the conventions. More simply put, the Iowa delegates all pledged to not allow somebody to come out of left field to seek the nomination.
While the Cruz campaign flexed its organizational muscles when the delegates were on the line, the campaign opted not to play in state central committee races. In the Fourth District, all four incumbents were re-elected, and statewide, two-thirds of incumbents were retained. Three state central committee incumbents, Ryan Frederick and Sherill Whisenand in the Third District, and Trudy Caviness in the Second District, were not re-elected.
Whisenand, Caviness, and Frederick are each hard-workers who have donated countless hours in working on behalf of Iowa Republicans. Still, in presidential years, some incumbents can get swept out of office for a number of reasons. While these three individuals will not be on the State Central Committee, they will still be involved at the county level, and frankly, that’s what matters most.
Overall, Saturday was a good day for the Cruz campaign, and in the Fourth District, it was obvious that Republicans were in good spirits and ready for the general election to begin.