Iowa delegates at the Republican National Convention are leaving Cleveland today in a mostly unified front, touting Donald Trump.
Iowa delegate Jake Chapman, a state senator from Adel, said you “cannot discredit” what Trump has been able to do in his business life — and during in this campaign.
“As the convention has gone along, as we’ve heard more speeches, there is definitely a unity coalescing,” Chapman said.
Heather Stancil of Winterset, an alternate delegate at the convention, said Trump was not her first choice, but “the people have spoken” and she’s ready “to move forward” and support Trump.
“He is definitely the man that makes people talk and I kind of like that,” Stancil said, with a laugh. “You know, we’re talking about things that we have not talked about in a long time and he says things that a lot of people are afraid to say.”
“More conversation is good,” according to Stancil, “because that’s how good ideas bubble to the top.”
Iowa delegate Robert Cramer, a businessman from Grimes, is on the board of directors for The Family Leader, a Christian conservative group. Cramer said choosing Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his VP nominee shows Trump not only wants to win, he wants to govern.
“He’s just a really solid, Christian guy who is humble leader and wants to do the right thing,” Cramer said of Pence, “and so I think he will be really good for Trump.”
Bill Anderson, a state senator from Pierson, said Pence will “definitely” appeal to the party’s evangelical voters.
“We’re building a positive message for November and that’s what I came here to do, that’s what I’ve been talking to my constituents about,” Anderson said. “Obviously, I didn’t support Mr. Trump during the Caucuses, but at the end of the day we have a process and this is the fulfillment of that process.”
Gregg Cummings of Lamoni, an alternate delegate at the convention, said Trump’s pick of Pence shows he’ll surround himself with good people.
“Hopefully he’ll open the bag further and spill the beans on the rest of his cabinet,” Cummings said. “…If he does that, I think we will see a stronger, unified party.”
Greg Heartsill, a state representative from Columbia, said the stakes are high in other races, too, as Republicans hope to keep a majority of seats in the U.S. House and Senate — and win statehouse races around the country.
“We can’t afford for folks to stay home because their candidate didn’t make it,” Heartsill said.
First-time national delegate Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa, a three-time candidate for congress, said the convention experience does seem to “motivate and inspire” the delegates to dig in back home.
“I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm and support for getting Donald Trump and Mike Pence elected as president and vice president this coming fall,” Miller-Meeks said.
Cheryl Kramer of Dubuque was among the Iowa GOP’s guests in Cleveland, attending her eighth national convention. She has volunteered to work on the Trump campaign.
“I was with him nearly from the beginning,” Kramer said. “I’m very motivated anyway. Politics has been a part of my life. I first worked for Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1966 in California. That’s what first got me going, so it’s 50 years this year.”
Iowa delegate Amy Christen of Davenport supported Jeb Bush in the Iowa Caucuses and “cannot stand” Hillary Clinton.
She’s offering this advice to Iowans who’ve told her they are upset with both Clinton and Trump: “Don’t do the stay-home protest. Go and vote. Vote for the least worst alternative or, if you need to, vote Libertarian or write in — as long as it’s not Daffy Duck.”
Christen said that will show party leaders that voters won’t “just stay home” because they’re faced with two unlikeable candidates.
Democrats will gather next week in Philadelphia for their party’s national convention.