CLEVELAND - Next week, delegates will be voting to nominate the candidate the majority of Republican voters chose in their state primaries, the Rules Committee decided at the Republican National Committee meeting Thursday.
After several hours of behind-the-scenes dickering, so-called "NeverTrump" Republicans were outnumbered and their attempt to allow delegates to vote their consciences, rather than reflect their districts' preferences, failed. That one action effectively assured businessman Donald J. Trump his place as the RNC's 2016 presidential nominee.
Illinois' Republican National Committeewoman Demetra DeMonte and State Rep. John Cabello are serving on this year's Rules Committee, and DeMonte told Illinois Review she was honored to have been active in whipping the vote on the proposed "Conscience clause."
"There was a small number of us that worked on Mr. Trump's behalf on that decision, and that should be a plus overall for Illinois," she said.
DeMonte's public support for Trump puts her at odds with former IL GOP State Chairman Pat Brady, whose anti-Trump rhetoric on a local radio show interview raised hackles earlier this week.
DeMonte didn't mince words in response to Brady.
"If Mr. Brady does not intend to vote for Donald Trump or vote Republican this fall, he should leave the party," DeMonte said. "Yes, he is a former state party chairman, but he left under a cloud. It's unfortunate that media goes to the disgraced former state chairman instead of talking to current leadership such as [IL GOP State Chairman] Tim Schneider, [IL RNC Committeeman] Rich Porter or myself."
DeMonte said that if Brady was still Illinois' RNC Committeeman, he would be ejected from his position for not supporting the party's chosen nominee.