Republican leaders in the state Legislature are starting to show more support for presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump, although at least one says he’s not quite there yet.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) has been publicly supporting Trump since he became the presumptive nominee. The Juneau Republican said that decision came after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus urged Republicans to back Trump, although he told reporters in Cleveland on Monday that he had been hearing from people in his district for months that they were planning to vote for the billionaire. “You kind of examine, in your own head, why are people gravitating towards him…and I think the bottom line is people want to shake up, for the most part (Washington) D.C.”
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) Vos, who supported Florida Senator Marco Rubio and then Texas Senator Ted Cruz, is still waiting to see more out of Trump this week before supporting his candidacy. “I’m already halfway there…because I’m definitely not for (presumptive Democratic nominee) Hillary Clinton,” Vos told reporters in Cleveland on Monday. “I’m pretty confident that by the end of the week, once we’ve heard his vision, I’ll be on board like most other Republicans across the country.”
Vos said his focus this week is on hearing Trump’s platform, and it’s something he believes many Republicans are waiting for as well. “It’s so important to make sure that we have a strong, articulate, specific conservative message. It just can’t be empty rhetoric, it has to be very specific ideas…and that’s what we’re going to hear this week.”
While the “Never Trump” movement remains strong with some Wisconsin Republicans and he lost the state’s presidential primary to Cruz, Fitzgerald believes Trump will do better in the state than many people are predicting. “I think Wisconsinites will get there and I think he will do better than most people think he’s going to do.”
Fitzgerald and Vos are both in Cleveland this week for the Republican National Convention.