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Trump Supporter In Indiana: Race Is Over, Party's Healing Can Start


We're going to turn now to a supporter of Donald Trump. Randy Gentry is the Republican Party chair of the Vigo County, Ind. Welcome to the program.

RANDY GENTRY: Well, thank you for having me.

CORNISH: So your reaction to Donald Trump's win tonight...

GENTRY: It's huge. It's huge. The excitement has been building. We've seen just a very, very large increase in the number of people participating in the voting process, which is really nice to see. And we're just really ecstatic with the results tonight.

CORNISH: You know, Donald Trump was heading into this day ahead in the polls. And there was little evidence that the, say, stop-Trump movement was really materializing or that Ted Cruz was gaining traction. And yet this morning, you know, Donald Trump really went after Ted Cruz based on this National Enquirer story that has no corroborating evidence. Why do you think he decided to make that final attack on Cruz? Do you think that was wise?

GENTRY: I have no idea. I think that this campaign on, you know - from everybody's standpoint has seen a lot of people talking back and forth and making comments. So as far as, you know, what he's saying - I'll leave that to him.

CORNISH: Given the level of this attack, what concerns do you have as a Republican Party chair about party unity and whether or not this is damaging that?

GENTRY: I don't think it is. I think this has been a very, very unique campaign cycle. We started with a lot of people in this process. And what we're seeing is a end of where we all need to come. We've got to get to the point where we have one person standing, and I do believe the party will unify behind one person.

And while it's not been your traditional campaigning and there's been a lot of things said and so forth, I do believe at the end of the day, we will come together. We will unite behind the winner, which is going to be Donald Trump. And we will focus on making sure he becomes the next president of the United States.

CORNISH: Randy Gentry, what reason do you have to believe that? You have John Kasich who's vowed to stay in. You've had groups that are central to the stop-Trump movement who say they're not going away. Are you still not looking at a fight over the nomination at the convention?

GENTRY: I don't think so. I think tonight sets the standards. I think at this point, I think that the race is going to be over and Donald Trump will actually reach Cleveland with the 1,237 he needs. And I don't think it will be a contested convention. I think that this is a - it's over, and I think probably for the first time in history, Indiana has been the contributing factor to this. I mean, we've been used to years and years of not being in play...

CORNISH: (Laughter).

GENTRY: ...Because we're so far down the calendar. But yeah, I think it's over, and I think that the healing process will start as it does in every presidential cycle. There's always an amount of healing that has to occur, and I think we're going to do fine. I think as a party - I think we're strong, and we're going to make it through this.

CORNISH: What do you think Donald Trump has to say to offer that olive branch? I mean, what would you like to hear?

GENTRY: I don't think Donald Trump's going to change. I think Donald Trump is who Donald Trump is. I think that we're just going to coalesce around this, and I think our focus will shift to taking on the Democrat nominee, which I guess one could assume at this point that will be Hillary Clinton.

So give it some time. I don't think it has - any particular thing has to be said. I think everybody, again, is going to get fired up, and I think our motivation at this point is we've been shut out of the White House for some time. And I think Republicans are going to get really excited about an opportunity to put a president back in the White House.

CORNISH: That's Randy Gentry, the GOP chair of Vigo County, Ind. He's a supporter of Donald Trump. Trump won today's Indiana primary. Thank you for speaking with us.

GENTRY: Thank you for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.