Part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump has now secured enough delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, according to the Associated Press delegate tracker.
Party leaders — from Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia to Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Michael Barnett — have been treating Trump as the GOP nominee since his May 3 Indiana primary win knocked Ted Cruz out of the race.
Ingoglia, the first state party head to congratulate Trump after the Indiana win, was quick to congratulate him again today.
“The Republican Party of Florida would like to congratulate Donald Trump on surpassing the required number of delegates to clinch the Republican nominee for president. Throughout this primary Mr. Trump has generated a historic voter turnout and built an unstoppable momentum that dwarfs the efforts of the Democrats – a testament to voters’ eagerness for a new leader that will not promote the same failed policies of the last eight years,” Ingoglia said in a statement released by the party.
Barnett, the Palm Beach County GOP chairman, said he hopes today’s milestone will help the party unify.
“If there was any doubt left, it has to be gone now. He’s the nominee. You can take away the word ‘presumptive.’ I think it’s significant he reached the milestone before June,” Barnett said.
But within Barnett’s own party leadership, not everyone has climbed aboard the Trump Train. Former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest, the chairman of the county GOP’s Black/African American Caucus, resigned his position this week because he said he can’t support Trump as the party’s nominee.
“Just because somebody puts an R beside their name doesn’t mean they’re a Republican or a conservative. Donald Trump in my opinion does not represent Republican or conservative values,” said Turnquest in an interview.
Barnett said he respects Turnquest’s position, but believes the number of Republicans who won’t support Trump is dwindling.
“Hopefully that ‘Never Trump’ movement will dissolve now that we have a nominee with the required number,” Barnett said.