Who will be Trump’s VP pick? Washington State GOP Chairman shares insights ahead of RNC

Jul 10, 2024, 6:02 PM

Photo: As the Republican National Convention prepares to kick off on Monday, speculation swirls ove...

As the Republican National Convention prepares to kick off on Monday, speculation swirls over Trump's VP pick for the 2024 election. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images)

(Photo: Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images)

As the Republican National Convention (RNC) prepares to kick off in Milwaukee on Monday, July 15, speculation swirls over who former President Donald Trump will choose as his running mate for the 2024 election. For Republicans, the anticipation is palpable.

Washington’s perspective

Jim Walsh, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, is already in Milwaukee preparing for the convention. Unlike many national pundits who focus on the leading contenders, Walsh offers a different perspective on the mystery surrounding Trump’s decision. He believes Trump’s unpredictable nature makes it difficult to pin down who his choice might be.

“Well, probably the biggest news for the convention coming up is we expect that Donald Trump is going to announce his vice presidential partner probably early on in the week, maybe as early as Monday,” Walsh said.

He acknowledged the decision could come even sooner, depending on the reaction Trump hopes to get.

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He emphasized Trump’s flair for the dramatic and his ability to keep the public guessing.

“Don’t discount Trump’s showmanship. He often will dangle shiny objects, or a couple of them, over here while he’s operating over there,” Walsh noted. “I am telling people not to go to the bookies on who’s going to be the vice president yet, because Trump is well known for doing what appears to be the unexpected, but was kind of his plan all along.”

Skepticism, historical context

Despite the excitement among his supporters, Trump faces significant skepticism from Democrats and independents, many of whom are not easily swayed by his choices or rhetoric. This skepticism is particularly relevant in Washington, which has not supported a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984. The state’s political landscape has shifted considerably since then, making it a challenging battleground for the GOP.

Compounding those issues are the recent convictions Trump received in New York. Many voters say they could never vote for a convicted felon.

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Walsh acknowledged these challenges but remains optimistic about the party’s prospects.

“We are likely to have one of the closest governor’s races in many years, so there are other reasons Washington’s in play,” he said. “The relative strength of Trump’s campaign so far and the relative weakness of Biden’s may even put the presidential part into play.”

The big mystery

Among the names being floated as top contenders for the vice-presidential slot are Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio and Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota. Each brings a unique set of qualifications and political experiences that could complement Trump on the ticket.

  • Marco Rubio is a seasoned politician known for his stances on foreign policy and immigration reform.
  • J.D. Vance gained national recognition with his memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” and focuses on economic revitalization and cultural conservatism.
  • Doug Burgum is a businessman-turned-politician known for his tech-savvy approach and efforts to diversify North Dakota’s economy.

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Local reactions and speculations

For Washington Republicans, this announcement is particularly significant.

“Trump’s decisions are always strategic. He’s known for his surprises, and this announcement will be no different. It’s important to stay tuned and be ready for anything,” Walsh said, reflecting on the broader implications.

Stay tuned

In the coming days, the political landscape will become clearer as Trump reveals his running mate. Whether it’s Rubio, Vance, Burgum or another surprise pick, the choice is expected to be a strategic one aimed at securing a win in 2024.

As Walsh put it, “Trump does the unexpected,” and said he’s eager to see what Trump’s next move will be. He said Washington’s GOP will be watching closely, eager to see how the next phase of the race unfolds.

Charlie Harger is the News Director for and KIRO Newsradio.

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