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Texas Republicans Divided On Support For Trump

Michael Vadon
Creative Commons

Ted Cruz has suspended his campaign, making Donald Trump the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.  But many Texas Republicans remain divided on whether to unite behind Trump and the state Republican Party is doing everything it can to convince dissidents to support Trump just a week before the party’s state convention.

Now that Donald Trump is likely to be the GOP presidential nominee, many Texas Republicans that vehemently campaigned against him have to make some hard choices on whom to support going forward.

Credit Rep. Lyle Larson
San Antonio State Rep. Lyle Larson

San Antonio Republican Rep. Lyle Larson says it’s time for the party to unite behind its likely candidate or face another four years of having a Democrat in the White House.

“You know there were a lot of good candidates when this thing started, there’s several I would rather have than Mr. Trump.  But saying that, I also understand like a team sport, you have to be united and support who’s going to be our leader on the field and that’s Donald Trump," Larson said.

However, moments after Cruz’s concession speech, Dallas Rep. Jason Villalba posted on Twitter that Trump was a "horrible human being" and would be the "death of the Republican Party."

Credit Jason Villalba
Dallas State Rep. Jason Villalba

“I call myself a Republican and that means something to me, what it means [is] I believe in smaller government, protecting the unborn, protecting second amendment rights, yet we’re seeing the standard bearer for the party as it goes forward as a person that does not support those ideals and principals," Villalba explained.

The head of the Texas Republican Party, Tom Mechler, has full confidence Texas Republicans will unite behind Donald Trump.

“I understand the emotions and passion for Senator Cruz.  We’re just empty, we need to give people the chance for people to adjust to the new situation and give them some room to work through it," Mechler said.

Mechler said his job now is to remind supporters that not voting for Trump is a vote for the Democratic presidential nominee.  The Texas Republican Party Convention begins May 12 in Dallas.