Cheyenne: Ted Cruz on Sunday won all 14 delegates in the Wyoming State Republican convention, a morale-boosting victory for the Texas senator against the controversial presidential front-runner Donald Trump ahead of Tuesday's crucial New York primary.
Trump picked only up a single delegate in Wyoming county conventions on April 9 while rival Ted Cruz got nine. In the weekend's state convention, Cruz won all the 14 Republican National Convention delegates up for grabs. Florida Senator Marco Rubio has one delegate and the other four are uncommitted.
"If you don't want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don't want to hand the general (election) to Hillary Clinton, which is what a Trump nomination does, then I ask you to please support the men and women on this slate," Cruz said in his victory speech, holding up a piece of paper of 14 recommended delegates.
Twelve members of that slate won. They are bound to the senator on the first ballot and have also made a non-binding pledge to stick with him as long as things go in Cleveland.
For 45-year-old Cruz, the win in Wyoming is another signal that demonstrates how his campaign has organised party insiders and activists to make it difficult for Trump to capture the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican Party nomination at the July convention in Cleveland.
Cruz has gaining ground on Trump, the real estate billionaire, who has failed to shift his focus to the local- level campaigning necessary to win delegates.
With Saturday's sweep, Cruz can count on at least 24 of the 29 delegates from Wyoming, a rural state. The delegates were chosen by party members rather than ordinary voters.
69-year-old Trump - who did not actively campaign in the state - remains the Republican front-runner overall.
However, the real estate billionaire could fall short of the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination for the November 8 presidential election.
That would mean a contested convention where voting for candidates starts again from scratch.
Trump is concentrating on New York, which holds a key primary on April 19.
New York will award 95 Republican delegates while the two Democratic candidates are fighting over 247 delegates in the city.
A number of senior Republican leaders have backed Cruz, a Conservative Texas senator, fearing that Trump's controversial comments make him a weak candidate in the November election.
The result from the Wyoming contest brings Cruz's tally from 545 to 559 delegates compared to Trump's 743.
In the Democratic race, Clinton with 1,758 delegates is still ahead of her only remaining rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has 1,076 delegates.