While Donald Trump dispatches three advisers to Texas’s convention in Dallas this week and makes a pitch for party unity, his team will be running up against a Cruz operation that is still maneuvering to stuff the state’s delegation with allies the senator could call on to snub the presumptive nominee.
“We have a busy weekend planned,” said a source familiar with the Cruz campaign’s plans.
Cruz is scheduled to deliver an address at the Texas convention after a week of hinting he could jump back into the presidential contest and urging activists to thwart the New Yorker’s takeover of the GOP’s policy platform. And despite dropping out of the race more than a week ago, the vanquished presidential contender has deployed at least one paid adviser to the Texas Republican convention – Tyler Norris, his state director. (Trump has three advisers: state director Joshua Jones, deputy director Eric Mahroum and Houston-area director Kayla Hensley.)
It’s not just Texas where Cruz is still playing.
The senator’s team remains active in several of the other eight state conventions selecting delegates this week – from Nebraska to Oklahoma to Nevada. Those conventions, along with party meetings in Arkansas, Florida and Wisconsin, will be selecting 389 national delegates, nearly a sixth of the entire convention.
If Cruz were still working to send the nomination fight to a contested convention, this weekend’s delegate hunt would have been the main event – the largest single delegate selection weekend of the primary season. Now, it’s become a display of Cruz’s last hardcore bastions of support and a forum for Trump to appeal for unity.