With less than three months before the Republican national convention, Beth Boyce has been dodging phone calls from national and international news agencies who want to know who will get her vote for president.
Boyce is the lone delegate from Johnson County who will be voting for the Republican nominee at the national convention in July. Alternate delegate Doris Scroggins of Greenwood will also be attending, in case Boyce or another delegate from the 9th congressional district is not able to vote.
Officials from every state will congregate in Cleveland for the national Republican Party convention. More than 50 at-large and congressional district delegates from Indiana are set to go.
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“This is like the Super Bowl of Republicans,” Boyce said.
The delegates’ task is seemingly simple: Vote on the Republican candidate who will face Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the general election this fall. But with no clear front-runner, the delegates may have to vote more than once at the national convention.
In the initial vote, Boyce and the other two delegates from the 9th congressional district must vote for whoever the residents in the district voted for in the primary election, Boyce said.
But if one candidate does not receive votes from at least 1,237 delegates, a second vote must occur, she said.
So will she vote for Trump or Cruz? She said she doesn’t know.
Boyce said she is unsure as to whether she can vote for any candidate she wants, or if she has restrictions on how she casts her second vote. In about two weeks, Indiana delegates will meet to go over more details about the national convention, and will hopefully receive clarification on the process of the second vote, Boyce said.
She is still deciding who would get her vote if she gets to make a personal choice, she said.
Officials assume the delegates will be forced to vote a second time this year, since no candidate has reached 1,237 delegates yet. Donald Trump has 953 delegates, while U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has 546 and Ohio Gov. John Kasich has 153.
Before voting, delegates will hear from other officials about why they support a specific candidate, Boyce said. During the 2012 national convention, Boyce heard from candidate Mitt Romney’s former co-worker and wife about what made Romney different from other candidates, she said.
This year will be Scroggins’ eighth time attending the Republican convention, starting in 1988 when former Indiana senator Dan Quayle was nominated as the running mate with George H.W. Bush.
“I’ve just never been to one like this,” Scroggins said. “Indiana has never been so important.”
Scroggins has never voted in a national convention, but always went as a guest of her late husband Don Scroggins, who was the chairman of the Republican Party in Johnson County for 20 years. During some conventions, she served as an alternate.
She cannot recall a convention in which delegates had to vote more than once, she said.
Now that Indiana delegates matter this year, Boyce has received phone calls from national and international media outlets, such as Reuters, she said.
Although other delegates are sharing their opinions, Boyce wants to remain as neutral as possible before a nominee is picked, she said.
As head of the Johnson County Republican Party, Boyce said the local organization will endorse whoever is chosen as the presidential nominee.