AZ GOP boss: Trump got out-hustled at state convention

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The latest brouhaha has Donald Trump voters venting after their guy was blown out at the state GOP convention, even though he won Arizona's preference election by a 2-to-1 margin. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The latest brouhaha has Donald Trump voters venting after their guy was blown out at the state GOP convention, even though he won Arizona's preference election by a 2-to-1 margin. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
"The people of Arizona got cheated; I got cheated," former Gov. Jan Brewer said during an impromptu press conference outside the Mesa Convention Center, the site of the GOP gathering. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) "The people of Arizona got cheated; I got cheated," former Gov. Jan Brewer said during an impromptu press conference outside the Mesa Convention Center, the site of the GOP gathering. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

What is the deal this year?

It seems like Arizona can't run a presidential election without finding itself mired in controversy.

The latest brouhaha has Donald Trump voters venting after their guy was blown out at the state GOP convention, even though he won Arizona's preference election by a 2-to-1 margin.

RELATED: Trump backers yell foul over loss at Arizona GOP convention

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The results prompted calls for a revote and accusations that the system was rigged against the New York reality TV star.

But two days after the convention, don’t look for a do-over as the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party is telling everyone to simmer down.

"We received more praise than we've had people disgruntled with the outcome, so it wasn't rigged and actually we're very proud of the outcome," said Robert Graham said.

That praise is likely not coming from former Gov. Jan Brewer, who failed to win one of the coveted delegate slots to the party's national convention this summer in Cleveland.

"The people of Arizona got cheated; I got cheated," she said during an impromptu press conference outside the Mesa Convention Center, the site of the GOP gathering.

For Brewer, it was her first election loss in a long career in politics. She and others questioned how Trump could walk away from the convention with fewer delegates than his competitors.

In March, Trump won the preference election here with 47 percent of the vote after some voters stood in lines for five to six hours. His competitors, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, won 25 percent and 10 percent respectively.

The results guarantee Trump will get all 58 Arizona delegates in the first round of voting on Cleveland.

If Trump fails to lock up the nomination on that first ballot, all bets are off, and those delegates are free to vote for a different candidate.

And that could be disastrous for Trump, at least when it comes to Arizona delegates.

Trump ended up losing 40 out of 55 delegates that were up for grabs (three delegates are not voted on because they are automatic) at Saturday’s convention.

"From what I understand, the campaign is going to explore every legal remedy," said state Treasurer Jeff DeWit, who doubles as the campaign manager for Trump's Arizona campaign. "I think we need a revote."

DeWit was skeptical of final vote tally and raised issues with the online voting system used to pick at-large delegates.

But Graham has a simpler explanation -- that Trump was simply out-hustled by Cruz and Kasich, who combined forces and ran the same slate of candidates.

"I would tell you that the Kasich-Cruz combination was an outmaneuvering of the Trump team," Graham said. 

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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