Trump currently has 673 delegates after winning a string of nominating contests, but if he wants to avoid a floor fight at the convention he needs the magic number of 1,237. There is some doubt among election number crunchers that he can hit it.
And that's when Strang will step into the spotlight. After filling roles in local Republican politics, Strang was selected by Illinois voters to serve as a delegate for Republican candidate U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas. He likes Cruz for his position on guns and immigration.
But if the convention becomes a fight because no candidate has the needed 1,237 delegates on the first round of voting, most of the delegates would eventually be released. States are still sorting through some rules governing how long delegates are bound to candidates. Strang said if he found himself a free agent, he would be open to switching his vote. (See a graphic on how a contested convention works.)
"I am going to be loyal to Ted Cruz, and I will stick with him until I see if there's no hope. And if there's no hope for Ted getting in, as I understand it I can pledge my votes to somebody else, and I would hope Ted would understand," he said.
Interviews with Republican state party officials and some delegates who have already been selected reveal widespread soul-searching in anticipation of a potential fight. Officials and delegates described weighing their personal preference with the need to rally around a candidate going into the general election.
Party faithful are steeling themselves for a battle, not just for the nomination, but also for the party's core values.
Establishment Republicans deeply opposed to Trump's candidacy say he does not represent social and economic conservative values on healthcare, trade and the role of government in daily life.