CA Republicans make no endorsement in governors race

California Republicans gathered in San Diego this past weekend for their convention.

But instead of uniting behind Travis Allen or John Cox, delegates didn't endorse a candidate for governor.

Democrats didn't endorse at their convention either, but Bob Shrum with USC's Unruh Institute of Politics says this is different.

"A major impact on the Republican race," Shrum said. "The Republican party runs the risk of having no candidate for governor on the November ballot. It's stunning to me that they couldn't get together and endorse someone. I'm sure it distresses their down-ballot candidates."

The two candidates with the most votes in the June 5 primary will move on to the November election and they can be from the same party.

Charles Moran with John Cox's campaign agrees with Shrum that if a Republican doesn't make it, there could be less enthusiasm for other California Republicans on the ballot.

"Some of our polling has shown we will have decreased Republican turnout if we don't have a Republican in the top two," said Moran.

But the California Republican Party says the convention was a success because it showed an engaged delegation and democracy at work. Cox's campaign says they're feeling good about their chances.

"We got 15 points above our nearest competitor and walking out of that room with 55 percent of the delegates to the California Republican Party voting and supporting John Cox, that's a victory for us," said Moran.

Also making news at the convention - Republican Patrick Little, who is challenging Dianne Feinstein for U.S. Senate.

He tried to register at the convention, but was asked to leave because of his neo-Nazi views.

In a statement, Matt Fleming with the California Republican Party said in part: "Mr. Little has never been an active member of our party. In the strongest terms possible, we condemn anti-Semitism and any other form of religious bigotry, just as we do with racism, sexism or anything else that can be construed as a hateful point of view."

In an ABC7 Eyewitness Poll conducted by Survey USA, Little is in second place in the Senate race with 18 percent. In the governors race, Gavin Newsom has a slight edge over Antonio Villaraigosa, 21 percent to 18 percent. Cox is in third with 15 percent and Allen in fourth with 10 percent.

"I was really intrigued that some of the folks at the Republican convention, in fact it seemed to be the predominant sentiment, that our problem is we're not conservative enough. If they think that's the mood of the California electorate, they're way off-base," said Shrum.

Early voting starts Monday and the LA county clerk has mailed over 2 million ballots.
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