EVERETT —Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is planning a campaign rally at the Xfinity Arena in Everett on Tuesday, party leaders said.
The rally would happen the same day as a fundraiser in Bellevue. Details on timing are expected to be released by the campaign in the coming days.
Gary Weikel, president of the Everett Public Facilities District, which owns the arena, said that the Trump campaign is definitely interested but hasn’t returned a signed contract or deposit as of Thursday morning.
“It’s a very large maybe, at this point,” Weikel said.
This would be Trump’s second visit to Washington. His May 7 rally in Lynden drew hundreds of supporters and scores of protesters.
State Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, who delivered the invocation at the earlier rally, said Thursday he’s excited to be volunteering at next week’s event.
“The Trump train is coming through Everett,” he said. “All aboard.”
Trump’s return fulfills a promise he made to state Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Hutchison in May. She vowed then that she would try to get him to Snohomish County, where the GOP is pinning its hopes for winning statewide races, starting with governor.
“I had asked for him to come to Everett,” Hutchison said Thursday. “We believe there are an awful lot of people in the community getting behind Trump.”
Hutchison and Pearson brushed aside concerns that Trump’s visit could hurt Republican candidates on the November ballot.
“No, not at all,” Pearson said. “He’s our nominee. This is a different type of year. This is a year where people don’t like establishment candidates.”
Don’t expect Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant to attend. He has said he won’t vote for Trump. And many GOP candidates for legislative seats, including incumbent officeholders, are reluctant to speak about the controversial Republican nominee.
“I think the visit will be very helpful,” Hutchison said. “The appearance of a presidential candidate affects down ballot races in a positive way. And Donald Trump has a way of bringing nontraditional voters enthusiastically to the party.”
Washington state hasn’t voted for a Republican candidate for president since 1984. And the most recent polling shows Trump trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton by a wide margin.
A survey by independent pollster Stuart Elway found Clinton leading Trump 43 percent to 24 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson received 7 percent and Green Party Candidate Jill Stein got 4 percent in the survey conducted earlier this month.
Sixteen percent of Washington voters said they were undecided and six percent said they may not vote for president at all.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; email@example.com Twitter: @dospueblos