Chris Tague of Schoharie said he is ready to vote for Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention this week if the opportunity arises.
Tague is one of three alternates from the 19th Congressional District who would vote if for some reason the District's three national delegates weren't available. Vincent Casale, Otsego County Republican Chairman, also is an alternate national delegate.
Tague, 47, Schoharie town supervisor, said he is “absolutely” looking forward to this week's convention in Cleveland. He said he has been to two GOP national conventions previously, once as a campaign worker and another time as a guest. Tague said he drove to Cleveland on Sunday and will be joining New York's national delegates and other alternate delegates and GOP parties members Monday morning when the convention begins.
“The experience of being able to come and be a part of everything is great,” Tague said during a telephone interview Sunday from Cleveland. Tague said he felt privileged and honored to have been chosen by GOP peers to represent the district as an alternate national delegate.
“We're here to make America great,” Tague said. The convention hasn't officially started, but he said the atmosphere among delegates he met Sunday is upbeat and confident about Trump as a winning presidential candidate.
Tague, general manager at Cobleskill Stone Products, also is vice chairman of the Schoharie County GOP. Tague said law enforcement authorities were visible in Cleveland but traffic hadn't been slowed Sunday.
Casale couldn't be reached by telephone Sunday. He, a third alternate delegate and the District's three national delegates are listed as Trump supporters by the state Board of Elections.
The 19th Congressional District includes Delaware, Otsego, Greene, Columbia, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, part of Broome, part of Dutchess, part of Montgomery and part of Rensselaer counties, elections officials said. Michael T. McCormack, Adrian H. Anderson and Brent Bogardus are the national delegates from the 19th District.
Tague said he expects Trump will win the GOP nomination on the first vote at the convention this week.
Tague said he previously supported Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the race. Since then, Trump has gone through through the process to gain support of Republicans across the nation and demonstrated leadership abilities, Tague said.
“One thing I am impressed with, he can put a team together,” Tague said. “We need a strong leader.”
Trump is a self-starter and a successful businessman who “doesn't care about being politically correct,” Tague said.
Terrorists are playing into the weaknesses of current national leaders, Tague said, and the United States needs a strong leader who can face terrorists at home and abroad.
Tague gave high marks for Trump's choice of Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, as his vice-presidential running mate.
The United States needs a change from the Obama administration and the Democrats, Tague said.
“It's time for a change in this country,” he said. “Serious change.”