Past, present Angelina Co. GOP leaders weigh in on Donald Trump - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Past, present Angelina Co. GOP leaders weigh in on Donald Trump

Both Republicans use scary, strange, uncertain, and a need for party unity when describing the current state of affairs for their party affiliation. (Source: KTRE Staff) Both Republicans use scary, strange, uncertain, and a need for party unity when describing the current state of affairs for their party affiliation. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Bob Flournoy, a longtime active Republican member and former chair, isn’t endorsing Trump. He says he’ll support the elected party nominee to maintain party unity. (Source: KTRE Staff) Bob Flournoy, a longtime active Republican member and former chair, isn’t endorsing Trump. He says he’ll support the elected party nominee to maintain party unity. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Angelina County Republican Party Chair Don Baum stands behind Donald Trump, even though the candidate wasn’t his original choice. (Source: KTRE Staff) Angelina County Republican Party Chair Don Baum stands behind Donald Trump, even though the candidate wasn’t his original choice. (Source: KTRE Staff)
ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

Republicans across the nation, except for those who have always supported Donald Trump, are deciding if they'll enter the Trump arena.  

Deep East Texas is no different.

East Texas News talked with two longtime GOP leaders, neither of whom originally supported Trump, to find out if they think the Cruz dominated region will turn to Trump as the next presidential candidate.  

On Friday morning, Angelina County Republican Chair Don Baum got a second request in the political season for a Donald Trump sign. Does he expect Deep East Texas Republicans will create a run on the Trump signs?

"Uhm, probably not a whole lot,” Baum said.

Baum knows Deep East Texas overwhelmingly supported Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz and other Republican leaders are slow in endorsing Trump, but Baum decided quickly to toe the party line.

"In the primary I didn't vote for Trump or Cruz. I voted for John Kasich. Now that Mr. Trump is going to be our candidate I'm going to wholeheartedly support him,” Baum said. “And I think we've got to come together."

No matter who the candidate is? "No matter who the candidate is,” Baum replied.

Baum is anxious to find out how other Republican voters lean during next week's Republican State Convention. Based on his active party membership, he has an idea what Trump will have to do to unite Republicans.

"He would have to change his tune quite a bit,” Baum said with a chuckle.

That is certainly a desire of Bob Flournoy, who previous to Baum, represented Angelina County Republicans for about 15 years.

"We don't like rude and crude people, by and large, and that's kinda what he's been,” Flournoy said.

Several months ago, the attorney went so far to write a scathing attack on Trump. This active party member since 1967 still stands by his opinion.

"He certainly wasn't my choice, and he’s still not my choice,” Flournoy said.

Even so, Flournoy remains loyal to the Republican Party.

"Whoever the Republican Party nominates, I'm going to be supporting,” Flournoy said.

Flournoy describes a strange and scary situation for his political party. A less than favorable candidate could hurt party strength even in Deep East Texas.

"If you take the enthusiasm out of the party for your candidate, even if they vote, you’re lost before you get started,” Flournoy said.

Just in case Flournoy changes his mind about endorsing Trump, his party chair successor sent him a gift.

Will the Trump sign go in Flournoy's yard?

"I don't know if I'm going to go that far,” Flournoy said.

Both Baum Flournoy will be traveling to the Republican State Convention next week. They said they don't know what to expect.

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