INDIANAPOLIS U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Wednesday was expected to announce that former business executive Carly Fiorina will be his vice presidential running mate if he wins his party’s nomination, ABC affiliate WMUR reported, citing unnamed sources.

The report by WMUR, an ABC station in Manchester, New Hampshire, followed a statement from Cruz that he would make a major announcement at a 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) rally. He gave no further details.

Fiorina, 61, endorsed Cruz, a 45-year-old U.S. senator from Texas, for the nomination in March, one month after dropping out of the Republican race herself.

The announcement of a running mate at this point in the campaign would be unusually early. Traditionally, the winners of the Republican and Democratic nominating contests announce their running mates for November’s general election at their parties’ summer national conventions.

Picking a running mate could be seen as part of a bid by Cruz to recover from Tuesday’s crushing loss to Trump, who swept party nominating contests in five U.S. Northeastern states.

The victories brought the New York billionaire closer to the 1,237 Republican National Convention delegates he needs to win the nomination at the July 18-21 event in Cleveland.

    Trump, 69, defeated Cruz and his second rival, Ohio Governor John Kasich, 63, in all five states that held primary elections on Tuesday: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The race has pivoted to Indiana’s primary next Tuesday, which was shaping up to be Cruz’s best – and perhaps last – chance to slow Trump’s momentum in the battle for the nomination.

If Cruz can win a large share of the Midwestern state’s 57 delegates, it will boost the chances that Trump will not be able to amass the 1,237-delegate majority he needs to clinch the nomination on the convention’s first ballot. If he does not hit that number, Cruz, Kasich or a dark-horse establishment candidate could win the nomination on a second or subsequent ballot.

The choice of Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard Co chief executive, could help Cruz with women voters, a group the pugnacious Trump has had difficulty winning over to his outsider campaign.

Trump criticized Fiorina earlier on Wednesday as a potential Cruz vice presidential pick. “I think it would be a bad choice,” he said, “not because she’s a woman but because she did not resonate at all with people.”

“It’s too early to do it,” Trump said. “And frankly, he’s wasting his time because he’s not going to be the nominee.”

(Reporting by James Oliphant in Indianapolis and Emily Stephenson, Jeff Mason, Megan Cassella and Alana Wise in Washington; Writing by Steve Holland and James Oliphant; Editing by Peter Cooney, Frances Kerry and Jonathan Oatis)

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Republican Cruz to name Fiorina as his No. 2 – media report
| Reuters