PASCO – Jennifer Fetters, of Bellevue, worked a booth promoting former presidential candidate Ted Cruz at the Washington State Republican Party convention on Thursday – one of the many supporters of the conservative senator from Texas who continued to push his candidacy weeks after Cruz suspended his campaign.
“The biggest thing is we want to see the conservative platform continued,” said Fetters at the Cruz booth, which is located a short distance from a booth promoting presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. “That cause goes on.”
She will be keeping a close eye as the state GOP platform is assembled at the convention, judging each plank “against conservative values.”
Vanessa Amundson, of Vancouver, also continued to support Cruz.
She said the time for the party to come together behind one candidate is after the national convention in Cleveland in July. Amundson said she is not sure yet if she can support Trump.
“I am still in the process of making that decision,” Amundson said, adding she was shocked and grief-stricken when Cruz ended his campaign.
The Cruz supporters weren’t getting much sympathy from Victor Adams, a cattle rancher from the Sedro-Woolley area.
“They’ve got to get on the train or get off and go home,” Adams said. “We need to unify.”
Dan Cease, of Clarkston, a Trump delegate, agreed with Adams that Trump’s business experience is a key reason for their support.
“He knows how to delegate,” Cease said. “He will follow through and implement.”
The convention moved into full swing on Thursday and concludes on Saturday. More than 2,000 Republicans from across the state are expected to attend. Among their major tasks are choosing delegates to the national convention and hammering out a platform.
The convention will pick Washington’s delegates to the national GOP convention in Cleveland in July. But those delegates will not know whom they are supporting until after the results of the Washington primary election on Tuesday. On the Washington ballot, Republicans can choose among Trump, and his former challengers Cruz, John Kasich or Ben Carson, who remain on the ballot.
Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant officially filed his paperwork Thursday to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.
Bryant is expected to address the convention Friday.
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