WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — As the race for the White House heats up, Rhode Island Republicans are working to secure delegates for the GOP national convention in Cleveland.
Many have come forward and expressed interest in being one of RI’s Republican delegates for the convention in July.
At Rhode Island’s Republican headquarters in Warwick, 122 people were scrambling Saturday – trying to collect enough signatures to land on the state’s primary ballot.
Once there, voters will get to choose 16 of the 19 people who will represent Rhode Island at the Republican National Convention. (The other three will be top state party leaders.)
Party members told Eyewitness News they’re seeing a new level of interest and activity because of what is happening on the national stage.
“There’s a lot of energy from the Rubio campaign, from the Cruz campaign,” said national committee woman LeeAnn Sennick. “John Kasich has a lot of people running for delegate now. You see that energy and it’s so inspiring.”
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Sennick said the support systems of different campaigns have maintained a friendly decorum, even as the presidential candidates lash out at each other.
“You see a lot of that reflected in the Trump campaign with people who are frustrated,” she explained. “Because of that frustration, they are looking for a different type of candidate and that’s getting a lot of people out of their living rooms and out in here in our Republican headquarters and getting involved and I think that’s a great thing.”
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung was on hand Saturday at headquarters. He said it is nice to see so many people taking an interest in the party.
Exciting to see so much interest, not only within the Republican party but a lot of people outside the party [are] really taking a good look at what’s going on,” he said. “Not only here locally, but nationally.”
Sennick said a lot of people are drawn to politics because of a presidential race, and then they start paying closer attention to local issues.
She said she expects to start seeing a lot of new and younger faces in Rhode Island politics.