CLEVELAND – When word spread through Quicken Loans Arena Monday that forces opposing Donald Trump were mustering one last attempt to derail his nomination, the New York delegation was ready to respond.
So was Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy.
After his appointment as delegation “whip” by state Chairman Edward F. Cox, Langworthy rounded up the solidly pro-Trump New York delegation into their seats during one of the early proceedings of the convention’s opening night. That’s where the delegation whip made sure the votes were in place to counter what appeared to be a strong voice vote to reject the Rules Committee decision to proceed with Trump’s nomination.
“We got word they were trying to force a roll call vote,” Langworthy said on the convention floor late Monday. “We went to work making sure the seats were filled.”
The New Yorkers found themselves in league with other big pro-Trump states like California. The plan was to make as much noise as possible to register a decisive voice vote, and be in place for a possible voice effort. Meanwhile, Erie County Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph M. Mohr (a member of the Rules Committee) also was providing legal advice and guidance on how to proceed. After some parliamentary maneuvering, the convention’s temporary chairman ruled the pro-Trump forces had prevailed and the candidate’s nomination appeared to clear its last hurdle.
“If we had been overwhelmed in the shout-down, there would have been a roll call,” Langworthy said. “But in the opinion of the chair, the ayes had it, and that was it.
Brendan Quinn, a veteran Albany operative who served as the Rules Committee’s lead counsel, said the entire threat of a new ruling allowing committed Trump delegates to switch their votes never had any steam anyway. He pointed out last week’s committee vote stood at 87 to 12.
“They tried again today on a procedural vote,” he said, “and it really got nowhere.”