Local delegates to head to GOP convention

By Brandon Klein - [email protected]

Five people from Delaware County will head to Cleveland to participate in the delegate process for the 2016 Republican National Convention that starts Monday.

Ohio has 66 delegates, each paired with an alternate as a back-up in case of an emergency. All are expected to attend the convention, which runs through Thursday.

But the task has become a daunting one for some Delaware County delegates with Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee.

Jan Antonoplos, Delaware County clerk of courts, is the only delegate from county government and will cast her vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who won all of Ohio’s delegates in March. He later suspended his campaign two months later.

Antonoplos said this will be her sixth convention.

“This will be the most interesting, I’m sure,” she said.

The Gazette has confirmed four out of the remaining five Delaware County residents will head to the convention as alternate delegates. Those are Teri Morgan of Powell, Kristen Frissora of Dublin, Bill Byers of Orange Township and Mike Koren of Concord Township.

Joy-Lynn Hartman-Rees of Genoa Township has stepped down, according to Jim Schuck of the Delaware County Republican Party.

The Gazette’s attempts to reach Hartman-Rees were not successful.

Some alternate delegates were not as enthusiastic about this year’s convention.

“I’m not looking to it it at all,” Koren said.

Additionally, some of the GOP’s top elected officials have been on the fence about their participation with this year’s convention.

Kasich said last week he’ll be in Cleveland for the duration of the Republican National Convention, but he isn’t sure if he’ll go inside, according to The Associated Press.

The former presidential contender said on July 6 he plans on arriving a day before the convention begins to help oversee security. Kasich hasn’t endorsed one-time rival and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. He also said he didn’t ask for a chance to speak at the convention and was never offered a speaking slot.

But there will be a reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for Kasich on Tuesday, according to cleveland.com.

The news site also reported that Rob Portman has endorsed Trump but plans to spend little time at the convention site. Instead, the U.S. senator, whose seat is up for election this fall, has a Habitat for Humanity project, a kayak race for a veterans’ charity, planned during that week. There will also be a reception at the Cleveland Science Center with Portman Wednesday.

By Brandon Klein

[email protected]

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.