Local legislator no longer a delegate for GOP convention

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, July 13, 2016

By Josh Bergeron


SALISBURY — State Rep. Carl Ford has decided not to attend the National Republican Party Convention in Cleveland.

Ford, R-76, was elected in April to be a Ted Cruz delegate for the 8th Congressional District. He was scheduled to leave for Cleveland on Saturday but was still in Rowan County on Tuesday. A China Grove radio station owner, Ford said he plans to attend the town’s annual Farmers Day this weekend.

When asked about his decision not to attend, Ford said it wasn’t because Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. It also wasn’t because of the cost of attending. It was a personal decision, according to Ford. He declined to elaborate on the record about the specific decision.

Ford said 2016 isn’t the most excited he’s been for a presidential election, but that’s not the reason he’s decided to not travel to Cleveland.

“Trump is the nominee, and you’ve got to go with the will of the people,” Ford said. “This wasn’t the most fired up I’ve been about a presidential election. To be honest, I’ve only been really fired up about one presidential candidate and that was (Ronald) Reagan — not to say I haven’t voted for others in the past.”

If needed, Ford said he would have been open to voting for Trump on a second ballot. On the first ballot, Ford would have been required to vote for Cruz.

“He’s a much better choice than Hillary honestly,” he said. “Actually, I’m more fired up about Trump than the last two nominees.”

Ford said multiple Republican groups raised money for 8th Congressional District GOP delegates to attend. Ford said he could have also used his campaign account to pay for the trip.

“We were going to leave on Saturday, I had all the paperwork and I was on my way,” Ford said. “Then I turned in an official resignation email.”

The GOP convention officially starts on July 18 in Cleveland, where Republicans will pick nominees for president and vice president. Although there’s been some discontent among Republicans about his win, Trump received the most votes during state primaries earlier this year. In North Carolina, Trump finished in first place with 462,413 votes. Cruz finished second with 145,659.

Some activities associated with the convention started this week.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.