Trump campaign, bullish on N.D. delegate outcome, to receive endorsement from state’s only congressman

Trump campaign, bullish on N.D. delegate outcome, to receive endorsement from state’s only congressman

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Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center in Rothschild, Wis., on April 2. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

North Dakota’s lone congressman, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R), is slated to endorse real estate mogul Donald Trump Sunday afternoon as state convention attendees gather to vote on national delegates, who could carry outsize influence if there is a contested GOP convention in July.

Cramer’s endorsement, confirmed to The Post by Trump senior adviser Barry Bennett, follows his efforts to court delegates in the billionaire’s favor.

“It’s a Sherpa role. Obviously Kevin is wildly respected in the state, and he’s been a big help,” said Bennett. “He’s been very valuable to us.”

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has endorsed Trump and spent time in North Dakota lobbying on the billionaire’s behalf, will address the convention as a pro-Trump surrogate Sunday. Cramer, who previously supported Carson for the presidential nomination, will introduce him.

“Before he dropped out, Ben Carson was probably the most popular candidate in the state,” Cramer, who did not run to be a delegate, told The Post Friday. “I still have my Carson bumper sticker on my car.”

The representative and Ed Brookover, a Trump adviser overseeing convention delegate selection, were reportedly in contact this week regarding delegates. Brookover previously worked on Carson’s presidential campaign.

Bennett, who also previously worked for Carson, said he’s thrilled by the slate of 25 nominated delegates revealed Saturday. The delegates who ultimately attend the national convention will be selected on Sunday by nearly 2,000 “voting attendees” at the state convention.

Though attendees are free to vote for any of the 105 individuals who applied to be delegates, the 25 nominees are heavily favored to win.

Bennett indicated that will favor Trump in a yet-hypothetical contested convention.

“We’re so excited with the slate that came out. It’s a big win for us in North Dakota,” he said. “Ed Brookover and his team have just done an amazing job, and we’re celebrating.”

David Weigel contributed to this article.

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