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Colorado Delegate Discusses Cruz Vote at RNC, Delegation 'Protest'

31 of Colorado’s delegates voted for Cruz, 4 for Trump and 2 abstained. Trump officially received the party’s official nomination Tuesday night.
Colorado delegate George Leing at the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio
Colorado delegate George Leing ahead of Tuesday night's roll call at the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio, July 19, 2016.Chris Fuchs / NBC News

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Colorado Republican national committeeman and delegate George Leing told NBC News Tuesday from the RNC convention floor in Cleveland that he cast his vote as a delegate for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. But, he added, “I support the nominee [Donald Trump] and we need to win in November.”

Thirty-one of Colorado’s delegates voted for Cruz, four for Trump and two abstained. Trump received the party’s official nomination shortly after to rousing applause.

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Leing’s vote for Cruz comes a day after much of Colorado’s delegation walked off the floor following an unsuccessful bid by a majority in nine delegations to change rules that say delegates are bound to vote for the winner of their primary.

Cruz overwhelmingly won Colorado’s caucus in April, taking all 34 delegates. Three slots are reserved for party officials, including Leing, committee member Lily Nuñez, and Colorado GOP state chair Steve House, who are unbound.

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“I support the delegation’s ability to voice its opinion, and to me it was a protest when they stepped away,” Leing said. “As far as I could tell, the intention was to come back and represent our state. They wanted to make a statement, and that is within their power, and I support what they have to say.”

Leing added he’s “generally not in favor of changing rules at the last moment,” but said they should discuss whether those rules should be in place for the next convention.

“I know we need to come away together, to support the principles we believe in,” he said. “Whether or not people come in, whether or not they’re supporting [Trump], I would like them to come away as a unified party.”

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