Florida Republicans start selecting delegates

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s a big day for Florida Republicans as counties across the state began selecting their delegates.

Even when the outcome is a foregone conclusion, delegates play an important role. But this year could be one for the history books – if there’s a contested convention.

If you want to go to the Republican National Convention and be a part of history, this is your chance.

“It’s incredibly important, especially considering the possibility of a brokered convention that could mean a lot of influence, a lot of power, come time for the convention in Cleveland,” Hillsborough County Republican Party Vice Chair Jonathan Torres said.

A contested convention would happen if Donald Trump hasn’t gained the 1,237 delegates needed to get the nomination. In the case of a contested convention, delegates from each state would get to vote and decide the nominee.

“So each congressional district in the state, I think there are 27, will get three delegates and three alternates,” said Todd Jennings, vice chair of the Pinellas County Republicans.

Right now the delegates in Florida are bound. That means they have to vote for the candidate voters picked, Donald Trump, for the first three rounds of voting. After that, they can vote for any candidate.

While those are the rules for now, Torres said there could be a change. “The rules are written the week of the convention. That’s why it’s a week long,” he said.

How to become a delegate

Any registered Republican can apply to become a Florida delegate. If interested, you have to make your case in front of your district’s selection committee, Jennings said.

If you’re well known within the party, and have hosted a fundraiser or two, it will not hurt your chances. “There’s going to be a lot of meetings and lunches and coffees,” Torres said.

Each congressional district is allowed to choose their delegates differently. Delegates are also selected at different times. Some of the delegates will be chosen as early as March 29 in Davenport for the 10th congressional district.

Trump’s campaign is opening an office this week to focus on the delegate battle.

For more information go here.

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