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5 stages of grief for Washington's anti-Trump delegates in Cleveland

Washington state delegate Braedon Wilkerson says Donald Trump fails the constitutional test.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde
'Donald Trump does not represent what our founders envisioned,' says Washington state delegate Braedon Wilkerson.

Call it the five stages of grief for delegates who oppose Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention.

KUOW’s David Hyde is in Cleveland, and he told host Emily Fox that many in Washington state’s delegation are feeling that.

Washington delegates played a major role in trying to change the rules in Cleveland to let delegates vote for any candidate they want. Most of them supported Sen. Ted Cruz in the state caucuses, and many are still passionate opponents of Trump.

But their effort failed and on Tuesday the convention votes on nominating Trump.

Leading up to this point came those five stages of grief.

First was denial: Donald Trump won’t get this nomination, no way.

The second stage for most of our Republican delegates was anger: He’s the presumptive nominee? What the heck is going on there?

The third stage was bargaining – we heard about this the last couple weeks with the effort in the rules committee to allow delegates to vote their conscience, not just based on primary results.

The fourth stage is depression. That came yesterday when the Free the Delegates effort died on the convention floor.

And that last stage of grief? Acceptance. The anti-Trump delegates from Washington state say no way they’re getting to that point.

“Donald Trump does not represent what our founders envisioned, what we as a country believe in,” said delegate Braedon Wilkerson of Olympia. “America is great. It’s always been great. And Donald Trump is the antithesis of everything that made us who we are.”

[asset-images[{"caption": "Washington state GOP chair Susan Hutchison says the way the Republican convention accommodated the anti-Trump movement in Cleveland is \"a beautiful thing.\"", "fid": "127982", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201607/20160718-cle-hutchison.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW PHOTO/DAVID HYDE"}]]But Washington state GOP chairman Susan Hutchison said Monday night on the convention floor that it’s time to move on.

“The basic rule of conventions is that the minority voice is heard, but the majority rules. And that’s good and that’s right,” she said. “And we heard the minority voice today and then the majority ruled. That’s the way it should be – it’s a beautiful thing.”

KUOW will be at both presidential conventions to bring you stories from Washington state party delegates, protesters and more. What's your Convention Curiosity?  Email us at

Year started with KUOW: 2004