“The Mercer County GOP endorsed Donald Trump for president.”
– Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, Princeton Community Democratic Organization local candidate endorsement meeting, March 20, 2016
Near the end of her three-minute speech to Princeton Community Democratic Organization members on Sunday night, Mayor Liz Lempert said the Mercer County Republicans endorsed Donald Trump for president at their county convention. Lempert went on to express her horror about the nomination.
But the endorsement claim is false. The Mercer GOP did not endorse Trump for president. In fact, the Mercer Republicans ended up not making any endorsement for president, Mercer County Republican Chairwoman Lisa Richford confirmed Wednesday.
The GOP was split, with Hamilton Republicans backing Trump, while a coalition of Princeton, West Windsor, and Hopewell Township delegates supported Kasich.
Seventy-five delegates voted. Trump received 32 votes and Kasich had 31 votes. Cruz had 11 votes. Two delegates submitted write-in votes that were not counted because there were no provisions in the rules for write-ins, Princeton GOP Chairman Dudley Sipprelle said.
Only Kasich’s nominators properly filed a notice within the seven day notification deadline for the convention. He could have won the county endorsement with a simple plurality, or one vote switching sides. Trump and Cruz were nominated from the floor, which required a 60 percent threshold to win the endorsement.
Lempert said in an email exchange with Planet Princeton that she saw a post of Facebook the day of the PCDO meeeting and misread the linked Trentonian article about the Mercer GOP endorsement. “I should have said that Trump was the top vote getter,” she said.