Trump expected to campaign in Clark County

GOP front-runner expected to appear Saturday, May 7

By Lauren Dake, Columbian Political Writer

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Presidential hopeful Donald Trump told Vancouver Republican Don Benton he plans to visit Washington state in early May.

“If we could get Washington, it would be unbelievable,” Trump can be heard telling Benton and a crowd of people by speakerphone Thursday in a video recorded at a local meeting of Trump supporters.

State Sen. Benton is Trump’s Washington state campaign chairman.

“Don is amazing, and I hear the spirit there is amazing,” Trump said, saying he didn’t want to tape the call, he wanted to place it live.

Trump told the jubilant crowd that if he wins Washington, “it’s over,” implying it would clear his path to the Republican presidential nomination.

“I think I can be there on the seventh, Don, and we will really fight to win it,” Trump said, adding that his campaign is still working to confirm the May 7 date.

Trump also told the crowd he’s only going to keep winning, promising to do better than Mitt Romney, who “choked” in 2012.

Trump won the New York primary Tuesday.

Kenny Smith, the Clark County Republican chairman, said about 80 people filled the GOP’s local headquarters Thursday evening.

Smith said the Trump campaign complimented the Clark County Republicans, saying “they had a better reception (from the local GOP) compared to other county parties.”

Valerie Vance, a Trump supporter who posted the video of the call on her Facebook page, said it was “just thrilling” to hear the candidate on the telephone.

Trump might be “rough around the edges,” Vance said, adding that he has a “mouth I don’t always approve of.” But she likes his stance on reducing the nation’s debt and on immigration issues and approves of the goal to keep “intruders from coming into our homeland.”

“That’s pretty much what a lot of us are feeling,” Vance said.

Washington’s Republican presidential primary is May 24. Unlike the Democrats, state Republicans plan to use the primary results to commit their delegates for the first ballot of this summer’s GOP presidential nominating convention.

Joel Mattila, the Clark County chair for the Trump campaign, said although it’s still tentative, Trump is expected to make three stops in the state, including one in Clark County.

Trump’s would be the third high-profile presidential campaign to visit Clark County this year. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drew an estimated 7,000 people to a rally at Hudson’s Bay High School, and former President Bill Clinton attracted 1,100 to a speech at Clark College in support of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.