Maine delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland said they were surprised and disappointed that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz did not endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during a speech on the convention floor Wednesday night in Cleveland.

Maine’s delegation cast 12 votes for Cruz, 9 votes for Trump, and 2 votes for Ohio Governor John Kasich at the start of Monday’s convention, Maine’s Republican Party said.

State Rep. Ellie Espling of New Gloucester, the House Assistant Republican Leader, was a Cruz supporter, but during a telephone interview late Wednesday said she was “surprised” at Cruz’s speech in which he never mentioned Trump by name and never asked the convention delegates to support him in November.

“I was surprised that he could not have at least asked us to vote for Trump. The Maine delegation enjoyed his speech, but I can tell you there are a lot of disappointed people in there,” Espling said while speaking from a basement room in the convention center.

Alex Willette, a delegate from Lewiston, has been a Trump supporter and was disappointed that Cruz avoided endorsing Trump’s presidential bid.

“I think (Cruz) was hitting on a lot of the same themes as Donald Trump and I think his speech was a very subtle endorsement of Trump’s campaign,” Willette said.

But Willette said Cruz was “keeping his cards close to his chest because he is planning for the future.” Cruz is already being mentioned as a presidential candidate in 2020 in the event that Trump loses the general election in November to Democratic Party nominee Hilary Clinton.

Cruz was booed Wednesday by some delegates as he left the stage at the convention center.

Earlier in the evening, delegates offered their impressions of the four-day event that on Wednesday evening featured speeches by three of Trump’s former presidential rivals, Cruz, Florida Sen. Mario Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The Republican convention will end Thursday with an acceptance speech by Trump.

Garrett Mason of Lisbon Falls, the Maine Senate’s majority leader, supported Cruz, but now stands fully behind Trump as the party’s nominee. Mason is pleased with Trump’s selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president.

“He is what Donald Trump needs to win this election in November,” Mason said during a telephone interview from Cleveland.

“It’s incredibly exciting that he is the party’s nominee,” Willette said of Trump. “He has created a movement across this country. Donald Trump speaks to Americans in a different way than politicians have in the past.”

Willette was particularly impressed with a convention speech made Tuesday night by Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. Another son, Eric Trump, addressed the convention on Wednesday.

Willette said a lot of the “mudslinging” that occurred during the party’s presidential campaign obscured Trump’s personality and his family life.

“I think it’s important that Americans get to see what Donald Trump is really like and (Donald Jr.) has given us important insight into that,” Willette said.


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