California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has certified the final list of candidates appearing on the state’s presidential primary ballot.
On the Republican side, GOP voters can choose between front-runner Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, after former presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie petitioned this week to have their names removed from the ballot.
State GOP Chairman Jim Brulte said he wrote to all of the former candidates informing them of the Friday deadline to wipe away their names. Failed candidates Ben Carson, a Trump supporter, and Jim Gilmore, once chairman of the Republican National Committee, took no action, meaning they’ll still be in the June 7 contest.
The California primary, which few believed would be relevant when the race began, is garnering attention from campaigns.
Ted Cruz was in Orange County this week rallying potential delegates and appearing on local radio. He signed on to give the keynote address at the state party’s spring convention April 30 outside San Francisco. Kasich, who also may come to the convention, is gathering possible delegates and high-profile supporters like Southern California developer Rick Caruso, who he named national finance and state co-chair.
Meantime, Trump, leading in the polls, is drawing fresh scrutiny in a state where he could collect the final delegates needed for the nomination. A group of veteran California GOP consultants plan to target Trump in several of the state’s 53 congressional districts.
Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been in and out of the state. They are joined on the ballot by five little-known candidates from their party.