'Heavy heart' as Washington delegation comes to terms with Trump in Cleveland
The countdown to Donald Trump’s acceptance of the Republican nomination has begun in Cleveland. But some members of Washington state’s delegation to the GOP convention still aren’t at peace with that.
“Well, I’m coming with a heavy heart because Donald Trump is our nominee, and the reason I have a heavy heart is he’s not even a Republican,” said Maria Apodaca, one of the alternate delegates. “He’s hijacking the Republican Party.”
Apodaca said Sunday night in Cleveland that Trump is pretending to be a Republican to get elected. She said she won’t vote for him in November.
Washington Republicans sent 44 delegates to the convention, along with alternates.
And the vast majority of these folks supported Sen. Ted Cruz in the state caucuses.
But Cruz dropped out, and Trump swept the primary vote. That means the state’s delegates are required to vote for Trump, even if they’re strongly opposed to him.
One delegate from Washington, Gina Blanchard-Reed, is on the convention rules committee and has been part of an effort to allow delegates to vote for any candidate on the first ballot. The committee rejected that proposal.
She acknowledged last week that even if the delegates were freed to vote for whomever they want, “that does not mean that the result would change.”
But an effort by the insurgents to force a floor vote failed Monday amid a chaotic scene at the Quicken Loans Arena. The #NeverTrump forces delivered petitions that they said had enough signatures from enough states to get a vote.
But convention officials said several of the petitions were invalid, and they pushed through a motion approving the rules, which require delegates to be bound to candidates by the rules of each state.
That led to a walkout by Colorado's delegation.
Meanwhile, some delegates from Washington state are backing Trump.
Hossein Khorram said that as a Muslim he does not think Trump is racist. But he does think Trump needs to choose his words more carefully.
“What he’s saying is the truth. And I think it’s authenticity and being sincere,” Khorram said. “It overcomes the lack of skills in political language that he’s missing.”
KUOW will be at both presidential conventions to bring you stories from Washington state party delegates, protesters and more. What's your convention curiosity? Email us at email@example.com.