Cruz wins 40 of 41 delegates in Washington state
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.Trump is still a long way from persuading all Republicans to back his efforts even if the other candidates have suspended their race. If Trump follows his past practice he will try to delegitimize this dissent. But doing so is not going to make people more likely to support him. He is going to have to reach out to these voters and give them a reason to vote for him and not just vote against Hillary Clinton.
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.
The disciplined Cruz crowd in Pasco left even Trump’s state campaign chairman, state Sen. Don Benton, unable to nab a national delegate slot. Benton, R-Vancouver, ran unsuccessfully for at-large and congressional-district delegate positions.
Cruz backers voted in a slate of their own preferred delegates to send to Cleveland.