GOP gubernatorial candidate Bryant not backing Trump

SEATTLE — Bill Bryant, Washington state’s Republican candidate for governor, has finally taken a public stand on the Donald Trump question: He doesn’t support the GOP nominee for president.

“Obviously, Bill has tried to avoid having this Trump conversation, because that’s not what this election is about,” spokesman Jason Roe told The Seattle Times in a phone call Monday.

“But this weekend, he finally just said, ˜Enough is enough.’ He said he doesn’t support Trump for president, and he doesn’t support Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, either. So now, that’s it. Let’s focus on the things that matter to voters.”

Bryant decided to put the Trump matter to rest after visiting his hometown in Morton this weekend and seeing relatives, who have been active in the MIA/POW movement, Roe said.

Bryant, whose cousin was killed in Vietnam and the body never found, flatly disagrees with Trump’s recent criticism of the Muslim parents of a slain American soldier, Roe said. The father took issue with Trump at the Democratic National Convention.

Bryant is considering supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson for president, Roe said.

For months, Bryant has avoided saying whether he would or wouldn’t back the GOP’s polarizing presidential nominee, including during interviews with The Seattle Times for a recent profile on his candidacy.

Democrats and supporters of incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee have seized on Bryant’s silence and criticized him for it.

Bryant, 56, who runs his own consultancy business for agricultural exporters and is a former two-term Port of Seattle commissioner, broke his silence about Trump on Monday during an interview with He declined The Times’ request for an interview on the issue on Monday.