Your Washington Desk:
LOS ANGELES, CA—RNC Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement regarding rules of the Republican Party as voted on at the RNC Spring Meeting in Los Angeles, CA:
“During the general session at the RNC Spring Meeting, the membership overwhelmingly voted to empower the state parties and grassroots in the selection of delegates,” said Chairman Reince Priebus. “We all agree the grassroots are the center of this party and are vital to winning elections. This change makes clear that the grassroots will pick their delegates and that presidential candidates can neither veto delegates nor unseat delegates. This was a win for both delegates and candidates by unifying our party behind this delegate allocation process.”
Rule 16 as passed at convention resolved a perceived problem recognized by many in the 2012 primary process that candidates may have won a statewide vote in which delegates were bound to a specific candidate and then had to come back and win the delegates at another contest which sometimes didn’t reflect the results of statewide presidential preference elections.
Today’s amendment clarifies that bound delegates must vote in accordance with state party rules and state law – in other words, delegates cannot claim to support one candidate when elected at the state level and then change their loyalty to someone else later. This rule also ensures that the delegate could not be removed for failing to vote as bound and made clear a presidential candidate cannot veto delegates.
Another proposed amendment to Rule 16 did not pass, which would have reinstated the practice of so-called “beauty contests” in which states hold non-binding primaries, conventions, or caucuses where there is a presidential preference vote.