Ted Cruz sweeps Wyoming Republican Convention

Updated 11:53 AM EDT, Sun April 17, 2016
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Story highlights

Ted Cruz won all of the 14 delegates up for grabs at Wyoming's state convention Saturday

A group of Wyoming GOP leaders backed a slate of unpledged delegates meant to give the state more leverage

(CNN) —  

It’s a Ted Cruz sweep in Wyoming.

Cruz won 14 of 14 Republican National Convention delegates up for grabs at the Wyoming state convention here Saturday.

The crowd here was clearly in Cruz’s corner, as the Texas senator was the only candidate to make the trip to Casper – ahead of a major snowstorm – and Sarah Palin, scheduled to speak for Trump, previously canceled.

“If you don’t want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don’t want to hand the general (election) to Hillary Clinton, which is what a Trump nomination does, then I ask you to please support the men and women on this slate,” Cruz said, holding up a piece of paper of 14 recommended delegates.

Twelve members of that slate won. They are bound to the senator on the first ballot and have also made a non-binding pledge to stick with him as long as things go in Cleveland.

For Cruz, Saturday is another victory that demonstrates how his campaign has organized party insiders and activists to make it difficult for Trump to capture the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.

Trump spent the day in New York, and twice Saturday – before the vote – decried the convention process used here and last week in Colorado as being unfair. “The system is rigged,” Trump said at a rally in Syracuse.

Wyoming’s delegate process favors the organized. Twelve delegates were already awarded at county meetings last month – and nine of them are to Cruz backers, with one for Trump, one for Marco Rubio (who told CNN she would vote for Cruz on a second ballot) and one uncommitted. An additional three delegates are party officials, and one, RNC Committeewoman Marti Halverson, told CNN she will back Cruz.

With Saturday’s sweep, Cruz can count on at least 24 of the 29 delegates from the state.

Cruz’s top opponent in Wyoming may not have been Trump at all, but a group of Republicans seeking to send a slate of unpledged delegates to Cleveland. Their hope is to earn the state more influence on the national stage as the three remaining presidential candidates scramble for delegates. Many of those won election as alternates to Ohio.