Evaluating the 2016 Tennessee Republican Party convention delegates – Part 2: Hey, weren’t you with that other guy?

Boss Haynes (photo: Getty Images)

Boss Haynes photo: Getty Images

by Horatio Bunce

“And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.

One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?

Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.” John 18:25-27

This is Part 2 in a series of posts evaluating the 2016 Tennessee Republican Party delegate slate approved by the TNGOPe (“e” =  establishment). Part 1 detailed the many delegates and alternates appointed by the establishment themselves that appeared on no ballots you had access to. Thus, this portion of the convention vote is contrived by party leaders – not you the voters. However, this is just part of the shenanigans pulled by Boss Tweed Haynes and the GOPe. If you are watching the “news”, the GOPe ridiculed the Trump campaign claiming “they should know the rules better” when confronted with their absolute disregard of the Republican primary voters and replacing their votes (or not allowing a vote at all) with delegate slates totally manufactured by the entrenched party elite (see Colorado and Wyoming for example). However, it seems to be lost on the GOPe that when ridiculing the Trump campaign, they are simultaneously mocking YOU, the voter who thinks your primary vote actually counts. For some reason you have this silly idea in your head that when you and your neighbors voted for 14 state-wide, at-large delegates, that the 14 receiving the most votes would go to the convention, and when you and your neighbors voted for 3 congressional district delegates that the 3 receiving the most votes in each district (9 districts * 3 = 27) would go to the convention, but awarded proportionally – and that these 41 delegates would support the candidate they were listed as “committed” to. Boy, were you ever wrong.

In this post I list the delegates selected in the Boss Haynes TNGOPe slate that actually switched candidates from those they listed themselves as committed to on your ballot. That’s right. On your ballot some delegates were “committed” to certain candidates that you did not support (and therefore did not vote for them), but now have managed to find their way onto the TNGOPe delegate slate – now allegedly supporting a different candidate, and more importantly, DISPLACING DELEGATES THAT YOU ACTUALLY DID VOTE FOR. This slate of delegates was manufactured by the party behind closed doors and is not a representation of your voting. This slate had to be approved by the TNGOP state executive committee. Not all state executive committee members voted with Haynes approving this slate. Those will be named also. Republican party rules also called for the candidates receiving delegates to be consulted and approve the list of delegates allocated to them by the party. You can be the judge if that actually happened

You can find a sample ballot for the 2016 Republican presidential primary for Blount County here.

You can find the “unofficial” voting results here

You can find the Tennessee Republican party approved slate of delegates going to the 2016 national convention here.

Below you will find a marked-up version of the delegate slate with boxes and arrows indicating what I call “irregularities”, such as people who were not on the ballot at all, people who now are delegates representing a different candidate than they did on the ballot, or people who now are delegates that should not be if the will of the primary voters were recognized.

The following are now listed as delegates or alternates by the TNGOP who were “committed” to someone else on the ballot.

Delegate Name        Committed to on ballot              Now representing           Position

Paul Chapman                        Single Digit Jeb                      Ted Cruz              Delegate

Sara Sellers                             Marco Rubio                       Ted Cruz              Delegate

Karen Brown                          Carly Fiorina                          Ted Cruz              Alternate

Julia Hurley                            Single Digit Jeb                     Ted Cruz              Alternate

Lora Jobe                                John Kasich                         Ted Cruz              Alternate

Jennifer Winfree                    Marco Rubio                           Ted Cruz              Alternate

Nathan Buttrey                     Single Digit Jeb                       Marco Rubio         Alternate

Linda Buckles                        Ben Carson                            Donald Trump      Delegate

Melissa Gay                           Marco Rubio                          Donald Trump      Delegate

Rob Ailey                                Mike Huckabee                     Donald Trump      Alternate

Tina Benkiser                         Ted Cruz                               Donald Trump      Alternate

Ted Hatfield                           Uncommitted                        Donald Trump      Alternate

Susan Richardson Williams   Single Digit Jeb                         Donald Trump       Alternate


According to TNGOP rules (at least at time of primary) there were three candidates that should receive delegates in a “winner take most” fashion: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Well, here are 13 delegates/alternates that didn’t receive the necessary votes from their neighbors (that they ask to pay for their private club elections) to legitimately be chosen ahead of those you actually did vote for. Instead, the TNGOPe TRASHED YOUR VOTES for actual delegates committed to your candidate and substituted these shills.

Notice a pattern?  Of the 13 imposter delegate/alternates, six of them or 46% replaced Ted Cruz committed delegates on your ballot that actually received votes. Another six of them or 46% replaced Donald Trump delegates on your ballot that actually received votes. Only one displaced an actual committed Marco Rubio delegate.

Four of the 13 (31%) were Single Digit Jeb supporters on your ballot.

Jennifer Winfree was committed to Marco Rubio on the ballot. Couldn’t she displace an actual Marco Rubio delegate (that received more votes than her) instead of stealing from Ted Cruz?

Tina Benkiser was committed to Ted Cruz on the ballot. Couldn’t she displace an actual Ted Cruz delegate (that received more votes than her) instead of stealing from Donald Trump?

12 of the 58 delegates and 13 of the 55 alternates now shown as selected by the TNGOPe, not the voters – 21-24% of the vote already fixed – with people either not on the ballot at all or who are now deceiving by allegedly changing their “commitment”.

Finally, this is not new. Remember the excuses you were told when Rick Santorum “won” with no committed delegates on the ballot in 2012. Tennessee’s delegates to the Republican convention delivered a 100% unanimous vote for Mitt Romney, when over 70% of you did not vote for him. Do you still believe the line that the GOPe losers keep getting unanimous delegate votes because of “open” primaries?

In Part 3, we will look at even further denial of the will of the voters where certain party insiders displaced committed delegates who received more votes.

11 thoughts on “Evaluating the 2016 Tennessee Republican Party convention delegates – Part 2: Hey, weren’t you with that other guy?

  1. In answer to your question: Where is Jerry Sexton? He was a delegate candidate for Cruz in the Second Congressional District and Cruz did not win any delegates in the District. That is the rule in every state for the GOP primaries. Three delegates are chosen from each congressional district based on the VOTE for the presidential candidate not the delegates. If the presidential candidate does not receive sufficient votes to win a delegate, then none of the delegate candidates pledged to him can win regardless of the vote total for a delegate. Simple enough and everybody but you understand the rule. Now you do have a point on the appointment of the 14 unelected statewide delegates by Haynes and his cohorts on the Republican Executive Committee. They selected delegates for Cruz and Trump that were not supporters of these candidates.

  2. Thanks for commenting. I’ll be glad to wade through this with you, because I do not believe that everyone but me understands how much of the GOP delegate slate is determined solely by established party insiders – not primary voters. That is the whole point of this series of posts. I’ll be happy to admit where I am wrong. I am aware of the proportional awards of congressional district delegates (although I disagree this is happening in every state, because it isn’t). I can appreciate that there is some difficulty in selecting “proportional” delegates when the math doesn’t come out even too. However, take a look at District 5. How does Charlie Cato become a delegate ahead of Joshua Stites and Janice Johnson? They were Cruz committed, and received the most votes in the same district, yet didn’t even make the slate as alternates. If you have party power to choose someone, why not Jerry Sexton who had obvious public support – instead of a Jeb supporter no Cruz supporters voted for? Wouldn’t the perception be better?

    Maybe we say Charlie Cato was one of the party prerogative chosen ones. After all, it’s their party so they can pick whomever they want. So let’s start there. How many delegates are chosen solely by the party, including the “automatic” ones (national committeeman, national committeewoman and state chair)?

  3. In Tennessee three from each Congressional district and 14 statewide are chosen by the voters by their votes for presidential candidates. 14 plus the three “automatic” ones are chosen by the party leaders. To advocate that Sexton should have been a delegate when Cruz did not win a delegate in the Second District is the same thing the party leaders did with the statewide delegates. Sexton would had to replace a Rubio or Trump delegate when he was on the ballot as a Cruz delegate. The Rubio delegate was the low vote getter in being elected so following your line of thought Sexton should have been replacing the Rubio delegate instead of the Trump delegate. Sexton should not have been replacing any one since Cruz did not win a delegate. You may disagree with how the rule was for electing District and State delegates but it was done properly. Delegates are depended solely on the votes for the presidential candidates and not the votes for the individual delegates.

  4. From what I’ve noticed since the fall of last year, if he sticks to his campaign promises: Trump will be the 21st century’s Andrew Jackson presidency, with his acumen to the average American, and will be the 21st century’s Teddy Roosevelt with his ability to read-the-crowd and be the industrialist tree hugger we’ve needed for some tyme now. He will be the 1st republican since the Civil War to re-instate meaningful Tariffs, providing the congress doesn’t ham-string him. My $0.02.

    Hillary for Prison 2016!

  5. Okay, so of 58 delegates, the party insiders choose 17 or 29% of the convention vote. That’s if there is no further interference.

    We see from Part 1, that there are 12 names that were not on a ballot. Three of these 12 are Haynes, Lambert and Ryder. That leaves 5 yet to be selected by party insiders.

    In Part 2, there are another 13 who obviously had party assistance to change their “committed” status and displace delegates that were supporting their candidate from the beginning – and received actual votes as such. Let’s say the remaining 5 to be selected by the party are in this number. They now have exceeded their 17 picks and are at 25.

    This would assume the remaining at-large and congressional district delegates were selected according to votes received – which they were not. Look at Bill Ketron, who leapfrogged about five other Trump statewide delegates that received more votes than him. Or SEC member Kelsey Ketron who did the same. Or Rep. Gerald McCormick who was way outside the top 60 in statewide delegate votes and leapfrogged other Rubio supporters. Charlie Cato in District 5 gets chosen ahead of Joshua Stites and Janice Johnson, both of whom had more votes. Isn’t this another 4 that have been chosen by the party rather than voters? Now we are up to 29.

    Is the excuse supposed to be that not all of them are delegates and some are “just alternates”?

    If so, they still displaced representatives that the people voted for.

  6. Of course you are now adding the delegates and alternates for a total of 116 instead of just the 58 delegates. The party bosses could have chosen not only the 17 non-elected delegates but their alternates for a total of 34. But they had some mercy only by choosing, by your count, 29 that did not represent the presidential candidate that actually won the delegate and/or alternate. The 41 delegates and their alternates that were elected by the voters were done properly. I totally disagree with Haynes and the majority of the Republican Executive Committee in their handling of the non-elected delegates and alternates. My disagreement with you is your statement that, Sexton as an example, should have replaced a Rubio or Trump delegate/alternate when he represented Cruz and Cruz did not win a delegate in the Second District. That is no difference from what the party bosses did in Nashville.

  7. Got it. I don’t advocate that Sexton should have been a delegate for Trump or Rubio, just noting that he received 2nd most votes in his district, so why not choose him to displace an otherwise elected Cruz delegate (like they did with Charlie Cato). I just happened to notice (and note it) where Joe McCulley’s name is as I was looking at 2nd district results at the time. I don’t think he should be in Joe’s place.

  8. There is what is legally right and what is morally right. For the RNC to allow the TNGOP to assign non-elected delegates that did not support the presidential candidate that won the delegates is morally wrong. It is a corrupt system that denies the choice of the voters. It doesn’t matter that , by law, the non-elected delegates must support the winning presidential candidate on the first two ballots since they don’t have to support him on procedural votes on rules, seating of contested delegates and other important questions that may come up at the convention. Trump and Cruz supporters should remember Haynes and those members of the TNGOP Executive Committee in the 2018 Executive Committee election that voted to deny their delegates.

  9. Well, if the comment is that the three automatic selections of party chair, RNC committeeman and RNC committeewoman are dictated by the RNC rules, I have not suggested anything else. I’m merely pointing out to the “general public” (as RNC committeeman Curly Haughland calls us) that 29% of the delegation is selected by established party leadership – not by any primary voters.

    I also have not suggested that anything is illegal, as far as being contrary to any law, because as I have often pointed out, the Big Two are nothing more than private political clubs. They can pick up their ball as you fall flat on your back trying to kick it every time, as they are wont to do. It is when they use the state legislature to change state law to arrange our “general public” elections around their RNC/DNC headquarters’ orders for when to hold their private political club primaries, use public funded structures, personnel and voting machines, claiming that they hold their primaries concurrent with “general public” elections so there is “no cost”, and then hide in their closet to manufacture results, that they should answer to the “general public” since they are utilizing their tax funds. If the primary votes really don’t matter and the RNC/DNC can make up whatever rules they want, why not just admit to it and quit wasting our money?

    As tax payer pointed out, many things in the land of the free are deemed legal. Forcing me to pay a tariff just to buy food for my family and then using that tax money to pay for the murder of unborn babies comes to mind. As former Sen. Summerville said: “Yes, the people approved it but the people can’t repeal the law of God.”

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