Trump support focus of Wis. state GOP convention

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will be one of the headline speakers at the Wisconsin Republican Convention this weekend in Green Bay.

Donald Trump has nearly secured the Republican Party nomination for president, but many Wisconsin Republicans are having a tough time accepting him as their candidate.

In April, a near majority of Wisconsin primary voters choose Ted Cruz as their presidential nominee. But La Crosse County Republican Party Chair Bill Feehan said it’s time for Wisconsin voters to get behind Trump.

“We have a Republican Congress, we need a Republican president, without a Republican president, nothing changes,” Feehan said.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Political Science professor Joe Heim said it will take even longer for some state Republican leaders to get behind Trump after they went to bat for Ted Cruz before the Wisconsin primary trying to stop Trump.

“All-in-all, I would expect they would, at that convention, endorse the Trump candidacy and say, ‘We’re behind him,'” Heim said.

Whether or not Wisconsin Republicans should support Trump isn’t the main focus of the state convention, but it will be a major topic of discussion, Feehan said. He thinks ultimately, however, it’ll be up to Trump to unify the party.

“He can do that by embracing people who maybe disagreed and didn’t support him in the past. It’s time to forgive old problems and to move ahead,” Feehan said.

Feehan believes Trump will be able to win over iffy conservatives and defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in November.

“We need tax reform, we need regulatory reform, we need to create jobs for people, and we need a Republican president, so I’ll be supporting Donald Trump, doing everything I can to make sure he’s our president,” Feehan said.

The state convention is primarily about finalizing the platform of the Republican Party and endorsing candidates for local and state offices.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Ron Johnson and Governor Scott Walker are all expected to speak at the event.