More than 100 apply for Illinois' last 12 GOP convention spots
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider of Bartlett says more than 100 people have applied for the party's final dozen spots to attend the national convention this summer in Cleveland.
Republicans will pick 12 statewide delegates and 12 alternates at their state convention later this month, and all are bound to vote for Illinois primary winner Donald Trump on the first ballot at the national convention, starting July 18.
Before Trump cleared the primary field in recent weeks, the question of which candidate those delegates would pick on a second ballot could have been a critical one. Now, Schneider says, a delegate's candidate preference won't matter much.
Schneider says the committee that will recommend picks is looking for Republicans with "real bona fides."
"I think the biggest thing we're looking for are real, long-term Republicans," he said.
Schneider said Gov. Bruce Rauner and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk are set to speak at the party's state convention, which has its main session on May 21 in Peoria.
The application asked would-be delegates about their party activities, their primary voting record and whether they've done anything that would embarrass the GOP.
Most of Illinois' convention delegates were elected directly in March's primary. Trump won a large majority of those, but in the suburbs Ohio Gov. John Kasich manage to win a few, too. Those delegates are still set to vote for Kasich at the convention, but Trump is on a path to win enough committed votes to secure the nomination.