Mississippi delegates talk Republican National Convention

Mississippi delegates talk Republican National Convention

MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - Mississippi's delegates at the Republican National Convention said the convention has not been as divided as some national media suggests.

"I've only seen maybe 20-30 protesters tops," said Sen. Joey Fillingane, one of Mississippi's 40 voting delegates. "To watch the national coverage, you would think they out-number us five to one, but really the opposite is true."

Gov. Phil Bryant said, "I know you may be watching some television station that tells you there's some trouble going on here. This is a unified, strong effort to make sure we go out and elect the next president Donald J. Trump."

Fillingane said he agrees the party's focus is getting a republican into the White House, whether Trump was its first choice or not.

"Former Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke to the Mississippi delegation (Wednesday) morning," Fillingane said. "Of course, he himself had been running initially for president. I think he summed it up beautifully, which is to say 'look (Trump) wasn't my first choice because I was my first choice obviously' as a candidate himself. But he said 'look we all play on the same team.' Trump may not have been your first choice and that's OK, but at the end of the convention, which we're at now, only one republican is going to be representing the party. That republican is going to be Donald J. Trump. So when your alternative is a President Trump or a President Hillary Clinton, it becomes a very easy choice for most republicans and most conservatives."

Mississippi's convention votes were actually split between Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

"Mississippi is a proportional delegate state, so unlike some of the states where it's winner take all, not all 40 of the delegates went to Mr. Trump," Fillingane said."15 went to Mr. Cruz and 25 went to Mr. Trump. That's just based on the total percentage of the vote in our state, but he got the vast majority of them because he got the vast majority of votes. It's representative of the actual primary count."

Fillingane said he expects there will be a few party members who hold out support or endorsement for Trump.

"There will probably be a few hold outs, a few sore heads as we say, that just can't get past themselves to think beyond their own ego to what's better for our country, but I think they will be in very, very small minority," he said.

Fillingane said he is one of the few delegates from south Mississippi, and said he is excited to represent the Pine Belt.

"There aren't that many delegates from our area, so I'm very fortunate to be one of them," he said.