Some Indiana GOP leaders oppose Trump, receive threats

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Donald Trump campaign believes that Indiana GOP leaders are working to defeat the billionaire candidate.

And some of those leaders are now the targets of threats.

57 delegates are at stake in the Indiana GOP primary. 27 of them were chosen by party leaders on Saturday, three from each of the nine congressional districts.

Most of them are not Trump supporters.

Those delegates will be required to vote for Trump if he wins in their districts but if the GOP National Convention goes to a second ballot, they are free to vote their consciences.

It’s a circumstance that led to a headline on Politico.com that declared “Trump Trounced” in Indiana and just one more example of why Trump is speaking out against the GOP establishment.

“We’ve got a corrupt system,” the candidate told a New York rally. “It’s not right.”

Indiana Trump chairman Rex Early says it’s a long time until the convention in July, but when asked if he feels like the establishment is working against his candidate, said, “Yeah, I do. Is there any doubt?”

7th District GOP Chairman Tom John is on a committee that chooses delegates here.

“I’m not a Trump supporter at this point,” he said, “because I’m concerned about many of the xenophobic and nationalistic messages I’ve heard.”

And because of statements like that one, John and others are the targets of angry emails.

“Think before you take a step down the wrong path,” one says. “The American people want to have faith in you but it looks like a future in hiding is more appealing.”

“I took them as very serious threats,” said John, who has notified the authorities.

The Trump campaign disavows any knowledge of the emails.

“I think it’s a horrible thing for somebody to do,” said Early. “If they’re doing it in favor of one of the two sides, knock it off.”

Trump is considered a favorite to win the Indiana primary and the remainder of Indiana’s GOP delegates will be chosen by party leaders on Wednesday. They are statewide delegates who must vote for the winner of the Indiana primary on the first ballot.

Again, they are free to do what they wish if it goes to a second ballot.

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