'Make Washington red again'? Delegates consider what's ahead after GOP nomination | KUOW News and Information

'Make Washington red again'? Delegates consider what's ahead after GOP nomination

Jul 20, 2016

In the end, the rebellion was crushed. Donald Trump was nominated as the GOP’s presidential candidate.

All of Washington state’s delegate votes were cast for him Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“Forty-four votes for Donald J. Trump!” state GOP chair Susan Hutchison said in delivering the delegation on the convention floor.


Many in the delegation wore green foam hats shaped like trees. At one point, Hutchison and state Sen. Don Benton, Trump’s campaign chair in Washington, were dancing.

“We believe we can carry Washington state,” Benton said. “We can make Washington red again for the first time since Ronald Reagan.”

That’s right – no Republican presidential candidate has won in Washington since 1984.

But many in the state’s delegation weren’t feeling the giddiness.

They had supported Ted Cruz during the caucuses, and they said more than half the state’s delegation still can’t stomach Trump.  And many say they will never vote for him.​

“And yet, my hope and my joy comes from God,” said delegate Philip Wilson from Mason County. “My hope is not in a presidential candidate. And I have to get through my emotions on that and trust God that he’s going to be able to work through whatever particular situation we face.”

Micah Naziri carries a semiautomatic rifle and says he's opposing "some of the fascist policies Trump has talked about."
Credit KUOW PHOTO/MATT MARTIN

Low-key protests

Ahead of the convention, there were concerns about protests in Cleveland, given tensions over police shootings around the country. For the most part, the protests in Cleveland have been peaceful.

On Tuesday in a public square near the convention center there was a potpourri of protests, including anti-racist protesters with semiautomatic weapons.

“We’re here to say that many of us are absolutely, militantly serious about opposing some of the fascist policies Trump has talked about,” said Micah Naziri, a rifle slung over his shoulder and a skull cap on his head, which he said he wore in solidarity with Muslims.

Self-styled militiamen from Cleveland also were there sporting semiautomatic guns. 

“Supporting my Second Amendment right,” said one of them, Seth Taylor.

And what does he believe in? “Constitution.”

And what does that mean to him? “Everything.”

Police officers keep the peace between protesters on Tuesday in Cleveland.
Credit KUOW PHOTO/MATT MARTIN

At one point, the Revolutionary Communists got into a shouting match with far-right groups as hundreds of police officers tried to keep the peace.

They were out in force — on horses, motorcycles, bikes — which they used to fence off the different protesters on opposite sides of the square. It’s a technique that Seattle police have used against demonstrations.

But most of the time the media seemed to outnumber the demonstrators. And many people watching said they weren't there to protest themselves — they were just there to take it all in.

Coming up Wednesday night

There are some high-profile speeches in Wednesday night's program: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will accept the vice presidential nomination and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will speak. He was scheduled to meet earlier with delegates who had backed him.