Political Notebook

Swearengin isn’t likely to endorse Trump for president

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin likes that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could shake up the status quo in Washington D.C., but that is outweighed by her concerns over his comments about racial minorities. For that reason, it is almost certain she won’t endorse him for president.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin likes that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could shake up the status quo in Washington D.C., but that is outweighed by her concerns over his comments about racial minorities. For that reason, it is almost certain she won’t endorse him for president. jwalker@fresnobee.com

Like many Republicans, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says she is struggling with her choices for president.

She is intrigued by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and the tantalizing prospect of him shaking up the status quo in Washington, D.C. But Trump’s controversial comments about racial minorities are too much for Swearengin and outweigh his upside, she said.

For that reason, Swearengin hasn’t endorsed Trump, and it’s almost certain she won’t ahead of the November general election.

“I have serious problems with the way he’s represented Hispanic people, as well as other racial and religious minorities,” Swearengin said, noting that Latinos are Fresno’s largest racial group. “I cannot stomach that. I cannot give him a pass on that. It is not acceptable.”

Swearengin earlier this year had endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who ran an underdog campaign for the GOP presidential nomination even as it became clear that Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were the frontrunners. Kasich, a pro-trade candidate who won support from many in the region’s agriculture community, cast himself as a viable – and more moderate – alternative to Cruz and Trump.

Both Cruz and Kasich dropped out after Trump won the Indiana primary. Trump on Thursday officially accepted the Republican presidential nomination.

It’s still July and there is a lot of campaigning to come in the next three-plus months, but even now Swearengin said she doesn’t anticipate endorsing in the presidential race. In fact, she said, “I am still wrestling with what I am going to do with my vote in November.”

It could be a voting-booth decision.

Trump troubles Swearengin, but she said presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “is Washington status quo, and that’s troubling, too.”

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