SeattlePI— A bevy of senior big-name Washington State Republicans, who have won statewide elections and effectively governed, are throwing support to the long shot GOP presidential candidacy of Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“He is a highly principled, strong conservative, probably more conservative than me: He’s an adult and he’s experienced. And you cannot govern if you cannot win,” said former Governor Dan Evans.
Ralph Munro made his feelings known months ago, creating and distributing (free) a DUMP TRUMP bumper sticker.
He now has somebody to boost.
“Kasich is a proven leader who has done an incredible job in the Congress as well as his home state,” Munro said. “He doesn’t seem to give a damn who gets the credit, as long as the job gets done. He can beat Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. There are thousands of people out there looking for a POSITIVE leader.”
Kasich is in a curious position. He trails Donald Trump and Ted Cruz among Republican voters, finishing third Tuesday in Wisconsin. But he bests both Clinton and Sanders in head-to-head matchups in the polls.
Washington is a mirror on the hard-right trend in the party. <——- HOW?!?
Evans is the only governor in Washington state history to win three consecutive terms. He expanded the state’s four-year and community college system to hold the Baby Boom generation, presided over construction of the North Cascades Highway, and put in place the state’s environmental laws.
And yet, zealous Goldwater conservatives denied Evans a place in the state’s 1976 Republican National Convention delegation.
On Super Tuesday in 1988, 16 states went for Vice President George H.W. Bush. Washington, in its Republican presidential caucuses, backed TV evangelist Rev. Pat Robertson.
Evans said he has “suffered” through raucous, name-calling debates between the Republican hopefuls.
“He (Kasich) was the only adult in the room,” he added. “The debates have been childish and filled with schoolyard taunts. He was the only one who kept his cool.”
And, added Evans, “He’s ready.”
The question is whether Republicans are ready for Kasich. They should be. The GOP hasn’t carried Washington in a presidential election since Ronald Reagan was on the ballot in 1984.
The GOP has not elected a Governor since 1980, in part due to the weakness of its candidates for President. It has not won a contest for the U.S. Senate since Gorton’s last victory in 1994.