Texas Delegate Supporting Sanders Gets Rowdy at Convention

Voicing support for Bernie Sanders, one delegate’s speech derailed this morning’s breakfast for Texas delegates.

By Rhonda FanningJuly 26, 2016 12:46 pm| ,

The standard contingent of Texas delegates took to the stage at their delegate breakfast Tuesday morning, in a show of what appeared to be party unity. But one delegate’s speech took a sharp turn, in a divisive show.

Reporting from the convention, the Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek says Russell Lytle of Denton set of an angry reaction from the crowd with his support of Sanders: “We want to be clear. We are currently condemning our current presumptive nominee.”

Svitek says many of the Hillary Clinton supporters in the room immediately rose to their feet and started booing.

“It really was an uproar that derailed the breakfast, I’d say for a good several minutes,” Svitek says. “It ended up with a few other (Bernie) Sanders delegates taking the stage and distancing themselves from (Lytle), asking for respect from the Clinton supporters but still saying that they did not entirely condone his language.”

Lytle voluntarily turned in his delegate credentials in what Svitek says was largely a symbolic move. “He certainly felt some regret,” Svitek says.

Svitek says Monday morning some Texas delegates were warned that if they reacted vocally and disrespectfully on the convention floor their credentials would be revoked. Texas stars like actress Eva Longoria have appeared at this year’s convention.

“I’m from a small town in south Texas,” Longoria said Monday night. “If you know your history, Texas used to be part of Mexico. I’m ninth generation American. My family never crossed a border. The border crossed us.”

Svitek says the star power and other speeches from everyday Texans – like a 17-year-old delegate from Galveston and the widow of a San Antonio veteran who says she was ripped off by Trump University – have helped to give more energy to the convention than seen in past years.

“You’ve seen a lot of energy within the party,” he says. “Certainly energy that was created by Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy. Then you’re also seeing energy behind Hillary Clinton, who had deep ties to Texas … who has, for a long time, had a lot of loyalists in Texas. And then you’re obviously seeing energy against Donald Trump. You’re seeing a combination of those forces come together.”

Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel and Hannah McBride.