Former DFL legislator Steve Wenzel, who served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for almost 30 years, is running for election to be a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Minnesota's Eight Congressional District Convention in the delegate slot allocated for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In an interview this afternoon, Wenzel said while he is running to be a Trump delegate, he is actually a supporter of the presidential candidacies of both Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
If elected, Wenzel would be required to vote for Trump on the first ballot, but he is hoping that mulitiple ballots will be needed to elect the Republican nominee for president at the Republican National Convention.
"I am not for Donald Trump and I would not be voting for him on the second or third ballot," said Wenzel.
Wenzel was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1972 and served until 2001, when he was appointed by President George W. Bush as the U.S. Department of Agriculture State Director in Minnesota, where he served until 2009.
Currently, Wenzel is a faculty member of the Political Science Department at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. This week, Wenzel was named the Outstanding Faculty of the Year for 2016 for Central Lakes College.
According to campaign finance reports with the Federal Elections Commission and the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Wenzel has made numerous financial contributions to both Republican and Democratic candidates for public office.
Wenzel's most recent contributions are a $1,000 donation to Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan's campaign for Congress in Minnesota's Eight Congressional District, and numerous donations to the presidential campaigns of Republicans Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
In discussion why he was running to be a delegate to the Republican National Convention, Wenzel was blunt about the seriousness of the election for president in 2016.
"This is the most important presidential election in my lifetime," said Wenzel, who also offered his opinion on the likely Democratic nominiee for president Hillary Clinton. Wenzel said, "the Democrats are about to nominate a candidate who I believe is dishonest and corrupt."
Republicans in Minnesota's Eight Congressional District will meet this Saturday in Park Rapids to elect three delegates to attend the Republican National Convention, which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio in July.
Picture source: Steve Wenzel
NOTE: This post has been updated with comments from Wenzel.