It’s official: Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president. Illinois delegates officially cast their ballots for Trump on Tuesday—the culmination of months of volunteering and organizing.
They described feeling “euphoric” and said it was the highlight of their week.
“It was amazing announcing the roll call totals,” said Illinois Republican Chairman Tim Schneider. “I’ve never been to a convention before and they asked me to announce the roll call vote, and it was a real privilege for me to do that.
“I was honored to do that. It’s been a historic evening for me,” he said.
Illinois delegation celebrating to the sounds of "New York, New York" pic.twitter.com/BHuvjQUtkZ
— Paris Schutz (@paschutz) July 19, 2016
There was some disappointment that it wasn’t a unified vote. Trump received 54 delegate votes—the majority of the state’s 69 votes. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz received his nine delegate votes and Ohio Gov. John Kasich got his six votes.
In order for Trump to have received all of Illinois’ votes, the campaigns would have had to release their delegates in accordance with Illinois law.
This comes as the Illinois Republican Party still struggles to present a unified front. U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren says he’s ready to jump on board and support Trump. The selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Trump’s vice president sealed the deal for Hultgren.
“It is also encouraging to see the team he's building. Mike Pence is an incredible governor, incredible man, somebody who I believe so strongly in,” Hultgren said. “And I think they'll be a great team that will balance each other out in a good way.”
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger says that he’s not voting for Hillary Clinton but he’s just not comfortable with Trump yet.
"I want to get there, I want to get to yes. I hope this is the week that does it, that unifies the party," said Kinzinger, who says there are still things that concern him.
"It's hard to tell what it's going to take to get me there, except that I have to feel comfortable with it. Obviously, he wasn't my first choice, but the people spoke. I just need to see someone who is competent and trustworthy and will clean up a lot of the mess we've seen," he said.
Join “Chicago Tonight” for continued coverage of the Republican National Convention all week.
Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz
More election 2016 stories
July 19: Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump’s campaign. We asked Kirk for his assessment of the Republican National Convention so far and whether he has any regrets about not attending.
July 19: Republican Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says he is not in Cleveland to attend the Republican National Convention. Instead, he's here to raise money–gobs of it–with the goal of pouring it into contested House races and chipping away at House Speaker Michael Madigan's Democratic supermajority.
July 19: The controversy over would-be first lady Melania Trump's keynote speech on Monday night at the Republican National Convention was a hot topic at breakfast on Tuesday for the Illinois delegation.
July 19: If Illinois' Republican congressmen have anything in common, it's that they do not support Hillary Clinton.
July 18: After declaring they were in lockstep with Donald Trump, the Illinois Republican delegation spent Monday afternoon and evening with a high-profile Republican who has vowed not to support him.
July 18: Chairman Tim Schneider riled up the crowd of Illinois delegates at a breakfast Monday morning in Cleveland, vowing that Illinois would work to elect Donald Trump in November.