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Broward, Palm Beach choose GOP presidential delegates Saturday

Broward and Palm Beach counties choose their 2016 GOP presidential delegates Saturday while Miami-Dade chooses delegates April 16th. Here is a look at what is at stake this year from William March at the Tampa Bay Times and Amy Sherman at the Miami Herald:

Alan Hays, a Republican state senator from Umatilla, has never been interested in national political conventions, dismissing them as “just a formality.” He didn’t even bother to drive to Tampa for his party’s 2012 convention.

But this year is different. Hays, state co-chairman for Ted Cruz, is considering applying for one of Florida’s 99 delegate slots for the July convention in Cleveland. “If it does go beyond the third ballot, I want to be there to vote for Cruz,” Hays said.

Turmoil in the primary and the increasing chance of a contested convention are sparking unusual interest in what is typically a little-noticed exercise in political log-rolling and rewarding party faithful: choosing the state’s convention delegates. Instead of just being props in a ceremonial coronation of a party’s pre-ordained presidential nominee, delegates this year may actually make a history-changing decision.

Here’s the bad news, however, for those itching to participate: If you’re not a long-time, committed party activist, you can probably forget it. Even Hays’ fellow Cruz co-chairman, state Rep. Neil Combee of Polk City, applied and got turned down.

Keep reading our story -- including about delegate selection in South Florida -- here.