TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida’s electors will meet in the state Capital Monday to cast their votes for president, after voters in the state chose Donald Trump. Don’t expect any surprises.
The people picked to cast Florida’s votes in the Electoral College are among the most faithful Florida Republicans and it’s extremely unlikely any will be swayed by the tens of thousands of emails, letters and phone calls pleading with them not to cast their votes for Trump, who carried the state in November.
“I really appreciate all the postcards that I’ve gotten. The front side of them were pretty,” said Sharon Day, an elector who also serves as co-chair of the Republican National Committee. “I kind of find it amusing. What lemmings they are.”
It’s absurd to think a leader of the national GOP would vote for anyone other than Trump, and besides, it’s her duty, Day said.
“It’s my responsibility to support the wishes of the state of Florida,” she said.
That’s a sentiment that was echoed by other electors.
The Associated Press interviewed 22 of the 29 electors and all expressed complete support for Trump. And all said the electoral college system should remain exactly as it is, saying that switching to a popular vote would give more sway to states like California and New York in choosing a president.
In Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Wisconsin, the majority of electors who spoke to The Associated Press felt bound to honor their states’ popular vote and remain with Trump. Many said they were inundated with emails, letters and packages hoping to persuade them to change their minds.
However, the majority of Virginia’s electors did express support for changing the Electoral College, an original feature of the Constitution, though they were divided on how to go about doing so. Illinois electors were also split on the system.
Florida law requires electors to cast their vote for the candidate voters chose in November. Florida’s electors were chosen by the Republican Party of Florida and approved by Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who backed Trump for president. Scott will oversee the vote at 2 p.m. Monday in the Senate chambers.
Here’s a look at some of Florida’s electors:
— Susie Wiles and Joe Gruters, who were the co-chairs of Trump’s Florida campaign. Wiles is a political consultant who ran Scott’s first campaign for governor and a Trump loyalist from early on. Gruters is vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida and a state representative. As chairman of the Sarasota County GOP, Gruters twice picked Trump as statesman of the year even before he decided to run for president.
— Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia, who as party chair worked to get Trump elected once he won the GOP nomination. He is also a state representative.
— Peter Feaman, who serves as Florida’s national committeeman to the Republican National Committee.
— State Rep. Larry Ahern, who was one of the few lawmakers to back Trump early on rather than Florida favorite sons Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio.
— Lobbyist Brian Ballard, who has represented Trump as a client and now serves on his transition team.
— Attorney General Pam Bondi, who campaigned for Trump and is now being considered for a role in his administration.
— Senate President Joe Negron, who has publicly scoffed at the idea of voting for anyone other than Trump.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)