Washington State Republican Convention Awards 40 Delegates to Ted Cruz


Donald Trump has all but sewn up the GOP presidential nomination. But as thousands of Washington Republicans converged on a rodeo arena for their state convention over the weekend, the gathering didn’t look like a political party yet united behind a Trump-led ticket.

Red Ted Cruz T-shirts outnumbered Trump ball caps on the convention floor at the TRAC Center, and supporters of the Texas senator won 40 of the 41 elected delegate slots for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer — even though Cruz has dropped out of the race.

While GOP leaders stressed unity to defeat Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Gov. Jay Inslee, some marquee statewide Republican candidates were declaring at the convention that they couldn’t vote for Trump — or were trying desperately to avoid the subject.

“The presidential race is its own deal,” GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant said after a Friday-night speech in which he didn’t mention Trump, but drew enthusiastic cheers as he vowed mass firings of ineffective Inslee-administration bureaucrats.

As he has all year, Bryant steadfastly refused to say whether he’d support Trump, telling reporters “the only people who ask me about it are you guys.”

Meanwhile, Chris Vance, a former state GOP chairman and current candidate for U.S. Senate, spent portions of a town-hall meeting Thursday explaining why he won’t support the likely GOP presidential nominee.

“Do you think I enjoy this? Not supporting the nominee? It’s unpleasant,” Vance said as some Republicans criticized him for failing to get behind Trump.

The state convention, which drew more than 1,600 state delegates to Pasco’s TRAC Center, was the final step in electing 41 delegates to the national GOP convention, where the GOP presidential nominee will be formally nominated. State GOP Chairwoman Susan Hutchison and two other party leaders also will head to Cleveland in July as automatic delegates.

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SOURCE: Jim Brunner 
The Seattle Times