DeSantis, Trump Both Expected to Headline California GOP Convention

Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump will deliver keynote addresses at the California Republican Party Convention this fall.

The California GOP first announced Tuesday that the former President would attend the convention and speak during a luncheon on September 29. Just one day later, it announced that DeSantis would be joining the lineup to deliver his own speech later that evening.

“As Californians struggle under the weight of Democrats’ failed one-party rule, Gov. DeSantis has shown how a state can thrive under responsible, commonsense, conservative leadership,” said Party Chair Jessica Millan Patterson in a press release.

“We look forward to welcoming him to the Golden State to speak with our convention attendees about his plans to take his Florida success all the way to the White House.”

The convention is scheduled to run from September 29 to October 1.

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A previous statement from Patterson offered similar words of welcome to the former President on Tuesday.

“We are thrilled to welcome President Trump back to the CAGOP convention stage for the first time since our 2016 convention… As California Republicans prepare to play a major role in deciding who our Party’s 2024 presidential nominee will be, I look forward to President Trump speaking with our delegates about his plans to move our country forward. We look forward to a great event and lunch keynote address from President Trump.”

The announcements follow a significant rule change in the California GOP Primary process, affecting how delegates are awarded. According to the new rule, any primary candidate that receives more than 50 percent of the vote will win all 169 of the state’s delegates. Delegates will only be apportioned according to the vote breakdown if no candidate receives 50 percent.

At least 1,234 delegates are needed to win the Presidential nomination.

While the California GOP plans to give an equal platform to the two frontrunners at the convention this fall, critics have accused the party of implementing the rule to benefit Donald Trump, who is currently topping polls in the state.

Ken Cuccinelli, the pro-DeSantis PAC Never Back Down spokesman, called the rule change “asinine” and said the party was playing “games.”

“Smoke-filled back rooms do not reflect the will of or benefit voters in any state. Yet across the country, games are afoot to enhance the potential outcome of primary elections for one former president who half of the Republican electorate no longer wants as the party leader. Even with these asinine primary rule changes, we remain confident Governor DeSantis will become the Republican nominee and 47th president of the United States.” ~ Statement from Ken Cuccinelli

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DeSantis has made multiple trips to the Golden State this year, including an event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in March and a visit to Governor Gavin Newsom’s hometown of San Francisco in June. DeSantis and Newsom have frequently sparred over their differences on various issues, including illegal immigration and woke curriculum in classrooms.

On Tuesday, DeSantis agreed to a two-hour debate against California Governor, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity, “Absolutely. I’m game. Let’s get it done. Just tell me when and where. We’ll do it,”

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