Local Republicans aren't necessarily sticking to the national party's platform.
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna is drawing another distinction with his national party — this time on immigration.
With Republicans preparing for next week’s national convention in Tampa, Fla., the platform committee decided this week to adopt a plank calling for the removal of federal funding from universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition.
Washington is one of a handful of states whose public colleges and universities do just that, allowing illegal immigrants to pay the lower rates if they can prove they went to high school here.
Asked about McKenna’s position on the issue, campaign spokesman Charles McCray pointed to an Associated Press article published in May. The article describes McKenna as supportive of in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants as a way to increase young people going to college.
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Earlier this week, McKenna broke from the national platform committee by saying he supports “a woman’s right to choose under the laws in this state.” The committee had decided to oppose abortion in all cases.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Michael Baumgartner also opposed the party’s immigration position. Baumgartner, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, said he viewed it as a states’ rights issue.
“I think we should make our own higher-ed policy here in the state of Washington,” he said. “Federal funds for things like research and important scientific research shouldn’t be tied to state’s issues.”
Republicans John Koster and Bill Driscoll, running for Congress in the 1st and 6th districts, respectively, did not return messages seeking comment.
Brian M. Rosenthal: 206-464-3195 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @brianmrosenthal.