EVERETT — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is coming to Everett next week.
Or maybe he won’t.
A state lawmaker from Monroe and the chairwoman of the state Republican Party said Thursday morning that Trump planned to speak at an event at Xfinity Arena on Tuesday.
“The Trump train is coming through Everett,” exclaimed Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe. “All aboard.”
But as of Thursday evening, the Trump campaign had not returned a signed contract and a required $10,000 deposit for use of the facility, which can hold up to 8,000 people.
Gary Weikel, president of the Everett Public Facilities District, which owns the arena, said there is agreement on the contract and the district was waiting for a response.
“It’s a very large maybe, at this point,” Weikel said. “I think it is as sure as we can be without having the deposit and signed contract in hand.”
Leaders of Trump’s campaign in Washington did not directly confirm the status of an agreement, only that no contracts had been signed.
Meanwhile, Trump’s new campaign manager is reportedly trying to retool the candidate’s itinerary in Washington because polling shows Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is likely to win the state.
An item published by The Washington Post on Wednesday said campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had persuaded Trump to cancel rallies in Oregon and Washington but still hold a fundraiser in this state.
But state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, said there is no rethinking of the visit and they continue to work out details for next week.
This would be Trump’s second campaign visit to the state. His May 7 rally in Lynden — which Ericksen helped organize — drew hundreds of supporters and scores of protesters. Trump also held an event in Spokane that day.
Trump’s return would fulfill a promise he made to state Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Hutchison in May. She vowed then that she would try to get him to Snohomish County, where the GOP is pinning its hopes for winning statewide races, starting with governor.
“I had asked for him to come to Everett,” Hutchison said Thursday. “We believe there are an awful lot of people in the community getting behind Trump.”
Hutchison and Pearson brushed aside concerns that Trump’s visit could hurt Republican candidates on the November ballot.
“No, not at all,” Pearson said. “He’s our nominee. This is a different type of year. This is a year where people don’t like establishment candidates.”
Don’t expect Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant to attend. He has said he won’t vote for Trump. And many GOP candidates for legislative seats, including incumbent officeholders, are reluctant to speak about the controversial Republican nominee.
“I think the visit will be very helpful,” Hutchison said. “The appearance of a presidential candidate affects down-ballot races in a positive way. And Donald Trump has a way of bringing nontraditional voters enthusiastically to the party.”
The leader of the state Democratic Party strongly disagreed.
“Donald Trump’s xenophobic, Islamophobic and downright scary campaign has no place in Washington state,” chairman Jaxon Ravens said in a prepared statement.
“His presence drags down the entire Republican ticket,” he continued. “It’s stunning that Washington State Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison and her party are still boasting about their support for Donald Trump.”
Washington state hasn’t voted for a Republican candidate for president since 1984. And the most recent polling shows Trump trailing Clinton by a wide margin.
A survey by independent pollster Stuart Elway found Clinton leading Trump 43 percent to 24 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson received 7 percent and Green Party Candidate Jill Stein got 4 percent in the survey conducted earlier this month.
Sixteen percent of Washington voters said they were undecided and six percent said they may not vote for president at all.
Chris Winters contributed to this report.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @dospueblos