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California Republicans mull choices in presidential race


Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, a United States (U.S.) senator from Texas, says the California primary election on June 7, which usually comes too late to have an impact, will this year decide his party’s nominee.

Cruz, who is trailing businessman Donald Trump in the state-by-state nominating contest, told delegates to the California Republican Convention at the weekend that the campaign would be “a battle on the ground, district by district by district.”

California Republicans will send 172 pledged delegates to the national convention in July, the most of any state. The winning candidate needs 1,237 delegates to clinch the nomination.

Cruz addressed California Republican leaders just hours before a speech by his announced running mate, Carly Fiorina, a former executive in the state’s high-tech center of Silicon Valley. Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is running a distant third, spoke at the weekend.

Convention attendee, Eric Dillinger, a Cruz supporter, said this election is “about protecting our constitutional rights, lower taxes, helping try to get rid of the (national) debt and a strong defense.” He agrees with Cruz on every major issue.

Trump supporter, Kris Kvarnstrom, worries about Cruz’s conservative stand on abortion and said a President Cruz would replace retiring justices of the U.S. Supreme Court with judicial nominees that reflect his views. They could “stop abortions for the next 50 years,” she said, taking the choice out of the hands of women.

She finds Trump less ideological.  A Gallup Poll April 1 found that 70 per cent of American women have an unfavorable view of Trump, but Kvarnstrom is not one of them.  “I feel he (Trump) is very good for women because he empowers them to be all they can be,” she said. “I like that.”

Trent Carlson, a student member of the Young Republicans group at Santa Clara University, is also wary of Cruz’s conservative positions on social issues such as abortion and gay rights. “I really do support (the more moderate) John Kasich,” he said, “but at the same time, I do like quite a lot of what Donald Trump has to say.  He has really shaken up the party, and if he won the primary, I would most certainly back him.”

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