Longtime Republican Sen. Don Benton, who represents Vancouver in Olympia, announced on Tuesday he’s endorsing Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race.
Benton praised Trump for being independent and willing to stand up to special interests.
“For decades, GOP and corporate elites have lectured grassroots conservatives on how we should vote and what we should believe,” Benton said in a statement. “Once elected, many of those same Republican leaders would then focus on building their own power base and rewarding their friends on Wall Street instead of focusing on the legitimate economic and security concerns of middle America.”
Benton, who is retiring after serving more than two decades in state politics and was once the chairman of the Washington’s Republican party, also took the opportunity to criticize the state GOP and blast those who voted for the gas tax.
“Let’s face it, the modern Republican party has lost its way, and I have seen that at the state level many times,” the 17th Legislative District senator said. “Just last session, Republican Senate leaders in Olympia passed the largest gas tax increase in Washington state history with little to no reform to DOT (Department of Transportation). That’s not keeping faith with the Republican voters that put you in office.”
Washington state Republicans won’t allocate their delegates until the May 24 primary.
Benton was elected as party chairman in 2000 and served an eight-month stint marred with controversy.