The Vermont Republican delegation cast their votes Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Thirteen of the 16-person delegation voted for Trump, one went for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and two voted for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Chet Greenwood of Newport, co-chairman of the Vermont delegation, Tuesday night offered the Vermont Republicans’ support for the GOP presidential candidate.
Greenwood gave a short nominating speech that referenced another Vermonter nominated for president at a convention in Cleveland – Calvin Coolidge in 1924. Greenwood noted that Coolidge selected Charles Dawes from Ohio as his running mate. And he offered this Coolidge quote for the 2016 convention crowd: “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”
This was Greenwood’s first convention, and he believes that Trump presidency would be good for the country.
“He’s more pro-business, I just think he’s going to reel in the EPA maybe a little bit; it’s awful hard to start a new business going through the permits, it’s expensive and timely,” he said. “I think he’s might do some of that to eliminate that burden.”
The Trump nomination was never in doubt in Cleveland. According to Chairman Paul Ryan, the final vote was 1,725 for Trump, 475 for Sen. Ted Cruz, 120 for Gov. John Kasich, 114 for Sen. Marco Rubio, seven for Dr. Ben Carson, three for former Gov. Jeb Bush, and two for Sen. Rand Paul. Both of the votes for Paul came from the Vermont delegation.
But the New York businessman surprised many in Vermont by winning the GOP primary in March.
Still, Vermont is a solidly blue state in presidential elections. And Greenwood joked after his brief appearance on the national political stage: “Most of the [Vermont] Republicans are here.”
Many prominent Vermont Republicans – including those holding or seeking statewide office – stayed away from the convention. But Greenwood says Trump has been good for the conservative cause in Vermont by energizing those who have never voted before to get involved in politics.