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Oregon Republican Loses Fight For National Convention Changes

<p>Solomon Yue, a National Committeeman from Oregon, April 21, 2016, in Hollywood, Fla.</p>

Wilfredo Lee

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Solomon Yue, a National Committeeman from Oregon, April 21, 2016, in Hollywood, Fla.

A Republican official from Oregon lost his attempt Thursday to change the rules of his party’s national convention.

But Solomon Yue, a Salem businessman who is on the Republican National Committee, said he was assured that it would be hard for the party to nominate anyone besides Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

Yue said he worried that the current rules made it too easy for party officials to reopen nominations if no one gets a majority on the first ballot. He proposed replacing the complicated Republican rules book — based on the rules of the U.S. House — with Roberts Rules of Order.

A GOP rules committee meeting in Florida rejected Yue’s proposal on a voice vote. The action came after John Ryder, the Republicans' general counsel, said current rules require a two-thirds vote of delegates to allow new nominations.

Yue told OPB that this legal interpretation, which he said had not been clearly stated by party leaders before, largely satisfied his concerns.

"If they had issued that legal argument" from the start, "I would not even have had a rules fight," Yue said.

A 16-year-member of the Republican National Committee, Yue had said he was worried that it would be too easy for party officers to re-open nominations if neither Trump nor Cruz won on the first ballot. He argued that additional nominations should be allowed only if delegates are truly deadlocked and willing to turn to an alternative.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Jeff Mapes is a senior political reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, Jeff covered state and national politics for The Oregonian for nearly 32 years. He has covered numerous presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and ballot measure campaigns, as well as many sessions of the Legislature, stretching back to 1985. Jeff graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in journalism.