Republicans not represented at state convention

Published 9:21 am Wednesday, July 20, 2016

When the Republican National Convention was gaveled to order Monday in Cleveland, Mississippi was present minus anyone from Warren County.

State Rep. Alex Monsour, R-Vicksburg, a Donald Trump supporter and the county’s only delegate, was unable make the trip after being injured in an accident requiring surgery to his shoulder, but said he stays in daily contact with the state’s delegation in Cleveland. “We’re staying on top of it,” he said.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a former Warren County resident, is on the Republican Platform Committee.

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Mississippi is pro rata state, with 25 delegates for Trump and 15 for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, based on state presidential primary results. Cruz dropped out of the presidential race after the primary.

Eric Biedenharn, Warren County Republican Party chairman, said Warren County usually averages one or two delegates to the national GOP convention every four years, adding, “You have to apply in advance before the state commission. I had been before, but I wasn’t interested (this year).

“I don’t know who else applied, but a lot of that (selection) is politics, and between the Trump campaign and the other campaigns, and the governor’s office. There may have been some who tried and didn’t get it, I don’t know. You wouldn’t get too many. There are 82 counties and 40 spots; everybody doesn’t get one every time. Some counties have larger populations than we do, so they’re going to get more representation.”

The application process, he said, begins several months before the convention when information is sent from the state party to the county parties outlining on how the process will work. Part of that information is a form people fill out if they are interested in attending the national convention that is passed out to members.

“The application goes to the state executive committee and several folks have input,” Biedenharn said. “Most years, it’s not that controversial, because the governor pretty much rules who gets to go, based on people who are working for the party and those kinds of things.”

If a Republican governor is not in office, the state chairman fills that role.

Gov. Phil Bryant has endorsed Trump and was part of a delegation of Republican governors who have met with the GOP’s standard-bearer.

“I and 15 other legislators came out fro Trump before the primary,” Monsour said. “I asked people in Warren County who they wanted, and basically with 17 people on the ballot he won almost 50 percent in Warren County, and that’s why the governor appointed me one of the delegates.”



About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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