GOP candidate Ted Cruz (Photo: Twitter)

GOP candidate Ted Cruz (Photo: Twitter)

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is asking supporters to pitch in $35 to become his “official Deputy Delegate” – not to be confused with real delegates who will attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in July to select the GOP presidential nominee.

“I need your help with something,” the Texas senator said in a fundraiser email sent to supporters Tuesday. “The cutoff to become an official Deputy Delegate is in just 24 hours, and I still need 4 more Deputy delegates in zip [redacted].”

The message asks the recipient to pledge $35 to “become the top Deputy Delegate.”

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“You and I both have a lot riding on this election – the future of our country is at stake,” the email states. “I know not everyone can come to Cleveland – but you can still become an official Deputy Delegate for my campaign. Please don’t sit this one out!”

The message takes supporters to Cruz’s campaign donation page, which allows donations of $25 to $5,400 and promises to send the following “Deputy Delegate card” to Cruz contributors:

cruz-deputy-delegate

The email blast comes on the heels of controversy over the Republican Party nominating process and real delegates to the Republican National Convention.

GOP front-runner Donald Trump called the system “rigged” and “crooked” Monday after Cruz swept almost all the delegates at last weekend’s state GOP convention in Colorado.

“I’m winning the votes by millions of votes but the system is rigged – it’s crooked,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” Monday.

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But the Cruz camp said it merely out-organized Trump on the ground in Colorado, where the delegates were chosen.

Cruz spokeswoman Alice Stewart said the team was successful in Colorado because it’s a “superior organization” that’s “working within the process and rules that have been established.”

On Tuesday, the Trump campaign announced a new, aggressive campaign to secure convention delegates led by veteran Republican strategist Paul Manafort, who accused Cruz of “Gestapo tactics.”

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But Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., blasted Trump, saying the Republican front-runner failed to organize in Colorado and sent only a surrogate to the convention.

Gardner unleashed the following barrage of tweets Monday aimed at defending the Colorado process and Cruz’s victory:

  • “I’ve attended CO GOP conventions for years. It requires organization & attn to grassroots to win. Trump didn’t. End of story.”
  • “@TedCruz showed yo to the @ColoGOP convention. @RealDonaldTrump only sent a surrogate. Cruz swept. Elections are won by those who show up.”
  • “Spoke to dozens of Trump supporters this weekend, listened to his surrogate speak twice, not 1 person complained [about] process until he lost.”
  • “I’m proud of the @ColoGOP and Chairman Steve House for a fair and well run convention. Onward to victory. #COPolitics

Trump currently has 743 delegates to Cruz’s 545 and John Kasich’s 143. To claim the GOP nomination, a candidate must win 1,237 delegates.

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