Update, Aug. 13: Valderrama emailed that in addition to denouncing Donald Trump’s comments, not does not support Trump, either. Valderrama’s original email is below the jump.
Ramiro Valderrama, candidate for the 45th District State House of Representatives and current deputy mayor of Sammamish, still won’t take a position on whether he supports, endorses or disowns Donald Trump.
He denounces Trump, the Republican nominee for President, for things Trump says. But that’s as far as he goes.
This is the position Valderrama took when Sammamish Comment first asked his position in May.
Since then, Trump has said more things and taken more positions that have alienated many Republicans and prompted some to announce they won’t support Trump and will vote for someone else. US Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican in a tough reelection fight in Democratic-leaning Illinois, renounced his prior endorsement of Trump. State Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island) of the 41st District and Chris Vance, the Republican candidate for US Senate, said they do not support Trump.
“As you know I am focused on running to represent the citizens of the 45th district in the state legislature,” Valderrama wrote The Comment today in response to a renewed question of his position. “Like many I have also publicly denounced Trump for his divisive statement. Also like most voters, I’m still watching and listening to see who I will support for President. I can tell you it will not be Hillary Clinton.”
- Update: Valderrama, in a follow-up email, added this: “[I] have no plan to support him or Hillary.”
When Valderrama announced his candidacy for the State House, he said he would retain his seat on the City Council even if elected. Valderrama was reelected to a second term in November. He announced his candidacy in February. Some of his supporters are angry that they worked hard for his reelection, only to see him seek the House seat just weeks after being sworn in for a second term.
- Update: Valderrama sent The Comment this email: I did not announce my candidacy until April. I did not entertain the overtures for discussion of running till February. It was five months after the election and three months after the swearing in that we announced.
The Comment asked if he still intends to retain his Council seat if elected to the House. He’s modified his position somewhat with qualifiers.
“Once I announced my candidacy, many citizens asked me to stay on the council. Like Rep Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island), who represents Sammamish and stayed on in her role with the City Council, I think a transition period would be beneficial for the City. If elected to the State Representative- I will stay on the Council (with no city compensation) if the Citizens of Sammamish wish me to stay – for as long as I can sustain doing both jobs well and a successor can be identified,” he wrote.
The likelihood of Valderrama being elected to the House is small. He received only 38% of the vote against incumbent five-term Democrat Roger Goodman in the August 2 primary. Historically, the primary is a good indicator of the outcome in the November general election.
Trailing Goodman by 23 points means the Republican Party is unlikely to fund Valderrama’s election effort.
Valderrama’s showing was the worst of any Republican candidate in the three legislative districts that cover Sammamish: the 5th, 41st and 45th.