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Ohio's Republican Delegates Settle In At GOP Convention

Ohio's delegates are seated to the right of the stage.
Nick Castele

They may be John Kasich's delegates, but they were at Donald Trump's convention.

Ohio's Republican delegates took their seats at the GOP convention last night, as the party prepared to nominate a candidate who didn't win the state.

“The bottom line is, you now unite, you come forward as one party, unified, to beat the real opponent And that’s on the left side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton,” said Keith Cheney, the chairman of the Allen County Republican Party. “So go Donald Trump.”

Tracey Winbush of Mahoning County likened the primaries to a family fight that's now come to an end. She said she’s ready to go along with Trump.

“I love John Kasich. I think he's the best choice,” Winbush said. “But today, he doesn't have the numbers. Which means I’m going to go with the nominee. That’s it.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman echoed those sentiments in a brief question-and-answer session with reporters on the floor of the convention center. 

“I didn’t get out of the Kasich camp until John got out,” Portman said. “He decided that he was going to pull out, and then I supported Donald Trump, saying that I would support the Republican nominee. And he won it fair and square.”

But while some delegates are ready to come together, Kasich has declined to endorse Trump. Tracie Sanchez said the governor has to follow his conscience.

“We hope he gets on board. I think that would be great for our state,” Sanchez said. “But he's got to do what he wants to do. We’ve always been a Kasich fan, and we’re sorry he’s not in the race, but it is what it is, and the people have spoken.”

And it seems for now, Kasich is holding out.

Ohio's delegates took the floor wearing red ribbons with gold pins in the shape of the state.

Kay Reynolds of Scioto County said it was in honor of late Ohio GOP chairman, Bob Bennett, who died in 2014, months after Cleveland won the convention with his help.

“He wanted the Republican convention to be in his home city, and he worked many, many years to bring it here,” Reynolds said.

Among the day’s events, the delegation met with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in Little Italy, and heard from former Texas Governor Rick Perry on East 4th.

Mike Budzik of Logan had some additional plans.

“I'd like to get out and do some fishing on Lake Erie,” he said.