Trump, Cruz Set Sights on California Delegates

SACRAMENTO (CN) – Donald Trump’s focus switched to California Tuesday as he tapped veteran Republican strategist Tim Clark to lead his charge for the Golden State’s 172 delegates.
     For the first time in decades, California’s late primaries will play a major role in presidential nominations, probably in both parties. Clark said it will be crucial to corral the energy of the June 7 California primary to launch Trump into the national convention in July.
     “Donald Trump’s message of fiscally sound government, restored economic prosperity and strong national security is reenergizing our party’s conservative base,” Clark said in a statement.
     Clark, who has managed and worked in elections for more than 20 years, is chief of staff to state Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. He managed a successful campaign for Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and is president of Clark Strategy Group.
     Texas Senator Ted Cruz also is ramping up his campaign in the Golden State. Cruz held a rally Monday in a packed Orange County ballroom, reviving memories of Ronald Reagan’s successful presidential bids.
     Coming off victories in Wisconsin and Colorado, Cruz told the crowd that “California is going to decide the Republican nomination,” and assured them Trump won’t pile up the necessary 1,237 delegates to avoid a contested convention.
     California Republicans favor Trump in the latest polls but Cruz can prevent a Trump landslide by winning conservative counties in populous Southern California and rural areas. California is not a winner-take-all state. It awards three delegates to the Republican winner in each of its 53 congressional districts. Another 10 delegates are apportioned at large, and the party’s state chair and national committeeman and national committeewoman each get a vote.
     On Monday, Cruz released a list of 50 prominent California Republicans who are supporting his campaign, including Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey, state Sen. Ted Gaines, who represents extreme northeast inland counties in the state First District, and Assemblyman Travis Allen, of Huntington Beach.
     Clark said Trump will campaign in California several times before the June 7 primary and is looking to grab all 172 delegates.
     “I am pleased to bring Tim on board to organize what is a very important state. I know he will be an asset to the team and ultimately deliver a win in California,” Trump said in a statement.

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