- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2016

The highest-ranking woman in House Republican leadership endorsed Donald Trump late Wednesday, as the party establishment coalesces behind the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the House Republican Conference chairwoman, announced in a statement that she voted for Mr. Trump in an absentee ballot for the primary Tuesday in her home state Washington.

Mr. Trump won millions of supporters by speaking his mind honestly; calling out the dysfunction in Washington, D.C.; and talking outside the politically correct box,” the Washington state Republican. “In the months ahead, he will have to earn the presidency by demonstrating that he has the temperament for the job and plans to empower every American to pursue a future of opportunity and freedom.”

The carefully crafted statement reflect lingering concerns about Mr. Trump’s brash style.

Mrs. McMorris Rodgers, who has a 9-year-old son with Down syndrome, previously chided Mr. Trump for his harsh comments about women and for mocking a disabled newspaper reporter.

In the statement, she said she “won’t be shy” about rebuking Mr. Trump if he steps out of line because he “owes it to our party and our country to treat everyone respectfully and to build an inclusive coalition.”

Mrs. McMorris Rodgers and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan were among the GOP congressional leaders who met last week with Mr. Trump in Washington. Mr. Ryan declared that he and Mr. Trump were ready to work together, but the speaker has yet to endorse the party’s likely nominee.

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