Still, there were holdouts. Querard knew of one alternate who no longer wanted to spend the money to go to Cleveland. Russell Donley, a former speaker of the Wyoming House who had won one of Cruz’s slots, said the Trump victory made him inclined to stay home with his wife.
“If Trump’s short one vote, and there’s an opening for Cruz, okay, then I go,” Donley said. “But I’m an old Wyoming boy, and going to Cleveland in the summer doesn’t really enthuse me.”
Then there was Eric Brakey, a young state senator from Maine who had been part of a Cruz slate that triumphed so resoundingly that Gov. Paul LePage (R) denounced it. Four years earlier, Brakey had fought just as hard to become a delegate for former Texas congressman Ron Paul, only to watch the Republican National Committee overturn the state convention and replace some Paul delegates with Romney delegates. This year, Brakey was finally given a vote at the convention — and received yet another disappointment.
“Donald Trump isn’t who my conscience tells me to support,” Brakey said. “Then again, neither was Ted Cruz. I voted for Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) at the caucuses, and when I ran for delegate I said I would reflect the will of the voters. Now I’m sort of jokingly telling people that I’ll cast my vote for Ron Paul — four years late.”