Former GOP presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich has asked pledged delegates to remain loyal to him until the Republican convention in July.
In 16 states, Mr. Kasich won a total of 161 delegates, 66 of which came from Ohio.
In a letter written to Party officials in each state, Kasich asked delegates to abide with him.
Kasich’s move is identical to two former GOP primary candidates, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both of whom have made requests to their pledged delegates to remain committed to them.
Kasich’s gesture is widely believed to be part of his effort to influence presumptive nominee Donald Trump to adopt positions more acceptable to the party and bridge divisions within the party.
“Given the nature of the primary season and what’s at stake, it’s a clear thing to do. There’s a lot to discuss at the convention past just who is the nominee — the party platform, rules moving forward, all kinds of issues,” said John Weaver, a Kasich adviser. “The governor wants and is hopeful for a campaign and a general election campaign that is more issue-based and anything, so we will do what we can do to try get leverage for that.”
Alone in the race after Gov. Kasich and Sen. Cruz ended their campaigns in early May, Mr. Trump is within reach of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination.
[The Hill] [Politico] [NBC News]