State’s Republicans are mum on Trump

Donald Trump is marching toward the Republican presidential nomination and Washington is one of his next stops.

His campaign is building momentum, with ballots to be mailed out next week for this state’s presidential primary in which 44 delegates are up for grabs.

Also next week, The Donald is expected to show up at rallies in Vancouver, Spokane and maybe even the Puget Sound area.

The timing couldn’t be better for the Republican Party in a state rarely considered important in our national nominating nightmare.

Or could it?

The campaign and the frontrunner are unsettling to many GOP leaders.

To appreciate its disquieting effect, consider what transpired at the Lynnwood Convention Center last week when 550 people gathered for the Snohomish County Republican Party gala.

In the nearly three-hour event, none of the featured speakers, including the county and state party leaders, mentioned Trump, Ted Cruz or John Kasich by name, or their spirited competition in any detail.

As for the May 24 presidential primary — for which ballots will start arriving May 4 — no one dwelled on its potential importance in determining the party’s torchbearer.

Basically, if one didn’t know there is a historic presidential election going on, they certainly wouldn’t have found out from those on stage that night.

Off stage, even the bevy of Republican elected officials in attendance was mum on the subject.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman, state Sen. Barbara Bailey, of Oak Harbor, and state Reps. Dave Hayes, of Camano Island, and Norma Smith, of Clinton, each said they plan to vote. None would say for whom.

Wyman said if she revealed her choice it could be viewed as an endorsement and, as the state’s chief elections officer, she is not endorsing.

The state lawmakers politely changed the subject and specifically declined to comment publicly on Trump.

No doubt their reticence was influenced by the polls and prognostications that a Trump candidacy could have a damaging domino effect on them and other GOP candidates. The theory is independent voters will be turned off by Trump and vote for a Democratic president, then continue voting against Republican candidates down the ballot.

An Elway Poll released earlier this month found 55 percent said they would vote against a congressional candidate in Washington who endorsed Donald Trump.

Although the poll didn’t ask about candidates for state offices, Democratic Party operatives drool at the possibility of a coming landslide of victories in legislative races. At every opportunity, they are pressing Republican candidates to reveal their presidential choice.

“If you’re a member of the Democratic Party state committee, every Republican candidate’s middle name is Trump,” pollster Stuart Elway said.

But in such an unpredictable campaign, the polls and prognostications could prove wrong.

While Trump will have a difficult time winning Washington in November — the last Republican presidential candidate to capture this state was Ronald Reagan — his candidacy could inspire hordes of people to become involved by volunteering to help GOP hopefuls.

Republicans have gained seats in the state House and Senate in recent years by working hard to keep those races from getting overwhelmed by the national mood. This year will be no different.

Thanks to Trump, though, the challenge will be huuuge.

Political reporter Jerry Cornfield’s blog, The Petri Dish, is at www.heraldnet.com. Contact him at 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com and on Twitter at @dospueblos.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

SonShine Preschool inside First Baptist Church Monroe is pictured Friday, March 1, 2024, in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
SonShine preschool in Monroe to close at the end of the year

The preschool, operated by First Baptist Church, served kids for 25 years. School leadership did not explain the reason behind the closure.

Cars drive through snow along I-5 in Snohomish County, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
In March, 7 p.m. sunsets are back for Western Washington

Washingtonians will finally start seeing more sun starting March 10. But a little more winter could be on the way first.

One of the parking lots at Stevens Pass Thursday afternoon on December 30, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Stevens Pass to charge $20 for parking reservations on busy days

Two-thirds of spaces will remain free for early arrivers on weekends. Cars with four or more occupants can also park free.

Lynnwood
Days after shootout with Lynnwood police, suspect checks into hospital

Police learned the 18-year-old was in a hospital in Portland, Oregon. His alleged role in the shooting remained unclear.

Everett
Snohomish County pharmacy tech accused of stealing 2,500 opioid pills

Rachel Langdon stole oxycodone while working at a Snohomish County pharmacy, according to state Department of Health allegations.

Patrick Kunz speaks during his sentencing on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett gymnastics coach who spied on students sentenced to 6 months

Patrick Kunz, 47, pleaded guilty to charges of voyuerism and possession of child pornography last month.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Everett transgender mechanic alleges Boeing treated her ‘like a zoo animal’

For years, Boeing allowed toxicity “to fester and grow” at its Everett factory, according to Rachel Rasmussen, an employee from 1989 to 2024.

Everett police officers survey the scene of a shooting along East Casino Road on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Washington’s 5th police academy could be in Snohomish County

A new academy in Northwest Washington would help clear a lengthy wait list for new police hires to get training.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.