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Why The Texas Delegation's RNC Vote For Donald Trump Did Not Come Easy

Republican presidential candidates US Senator Ted Cruz and Donald J. Trump clap at CNN republican presidential debate at The Venetian, December 15, 2015, Las Vegas, Nevada

A day after Texas delegates helped give Donald Trump the presidential nomination, Senator Ted Cruz takes the stage at the Republican National Convention. Texas was Cruz territory before he dropped out of the presidential race, and getting all the delegates behind Donald Trump last night took some effort behind the scenes. 

Highlight’s from the conversation with Andrew Schneider of Houston Public Media:

Efforts to unite delegates behind Trump: “(Lt. Gov) Dan Patrick was only one of many elected officials that have been speaking at these morning breakfasts where they’re (delegates) are headquartered, and all of them have been going on at these themes of ‘Look, you don’t have the option of staying home. If you don’t vote for Donald Trump, you’re essentially voting for Hillary Clinton.’ They’re trying also push this should be a campaign about values, not personalities. So whether you like Donald Trump or not, he’s the one you should vote for if you have conservative priorities.”

Are delegates getting to hear about issues of interest to them? “One of the things I’ve been hearing about most frequently is ‘Look, we passed possibly the most conservative platform in Republican Party history, so we got a lot of what we wanted in terms of immigration, national security, abortion, health care, Obamacare, the judiciary. You know, just in terms of the points that they want to make and argue ‘you need to vote for the party and not just for the man, whether you like the man or not,’ they’ve been making them regularly. Most of the delegation has been showing up to these morning meetings, so this is not just something people are hearing when they get on the floor in the evening.”

Sam Baker is KERA's senior editor and local host for Morning Edition. The native of Beaumont, Texas, also edits and produces radio commentaries and Vital Signs, a series that's part of the station's Breakthroughs initiative. He also was the longtime host of KERA 13’s Emmy Award-winning public affairs program On the Record. He also won an Emmy in 2008 for KERA’s Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Voice Special, and has earned honors from the Associated Press and the Public Radio News Directors Inc.