Presidential Hopefuls Converge in Bay Area for Cal Dem Convention

The largest gathering of 2020 presidential contenders to date will converge in San Francisco this weekend for Cal Dem’s annual convention—another sign of California’s new status as a pivotal primary state.

All told, 14 candidates vying for the highest office in the land will come through the Moscone Convention Center to press flesh with party leaders and activists as they vote on who should succeed Cal Dem Executive Director Eric Bauman after his 2018 ouster over sexual misconduct claims. (Click here to see who’s in the running).

Each presidential hopeful will get 10 minutes to speak at the convention’s general session, and several of them are set to appear at a forum hosted by the nonprofit MoveOn to talk about their “one big idea” they believe will change the country for the better.

The most recognizable faces to state party insiders are, of course, Congress members Kamala Harris (D-Oakland) and Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin)—California’s first elected Dems to run for president in two-and-a-half decades.

At least one candidate plans to swing through the South Bay while he’s in the general vicinity. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders—whose campaign is co-chaired by Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont)— will headline a public rally from 5 to 7pm Saturday at the Arena Green in downtown San Jose.

The San Jose event overlaps with Sanders’ first “grassroots fundraiser and friendraiser” of the election cycle, which is scheduled to run from 6 to 9:30pm in San Francisco, the night before the self-described democratic socialist is set to speak at the convention.

Other candidates planning to court party officials over the three-day occasion are: Julian Castro (who was in San Jose just last week), Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper and John Delaney.

Observers say Sanders’ decision to take the convention stage at the tail-end of the weekend could sway the outcome of the election for party chair.

The first ballot takes place Saturday night, but if none of the contenders get more than half the votes, a second go-around will take place on Sunday. Of the top three aspiring Bauman successors—Rusty HicksDaraka Larimore-HallKimberly Ellis—that potentially benefits one more than the others.

According to Politico: “Sanders’ scheduled Sunday speech almost guarantees that Ellis—a Berniecrat with the backing of his Our Revolution organization—gets the boost of an energized grassroots crowd who will stick around to hear their candidate, and may be more motivated to cast round two ballots.”

A lot rides on this kind of mundane intra-party politics. Whoever becomes the new chair gets to helm the most powerful political party in one of the biggest states in the union as we head into a historically consequential presidential election year.

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20 Comments

  1. VOTE for the first United States female
    President, California woman, KAMALA HARRIS FOR THE PEOPLE! Equal Pay for Equal Work; make corporations accountable for systemic gender discrimination! VOTE KAMALA!

  2. PEOPLE/Latino Raza San Jose California Community CHIP IN TODAY: $ 1, 5, 10, 100…SI SE PUEDE! GRACIAS. KAMALA HARRIS IS THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR PRESSIDENT. Vote KAMALA; thanks!

  3. Gente/Raza no permitamos que los políticos demócratas pipirisnice hagan de menos a nuestra senadora y primer mujer presidenta de los Estados Unidos de América KAMALA HARRIS. Los políticos popis van a apoyar a Sanders o a otro hombre. La comunidad Latina/inmigrante apoya a KAMALA HARRIS. Ella representa al hijo de mujer inmigrante que se partió el lomo para sacar a sus dos hijas adelante como todo padre immigrante. KAMALA sabe lo que es ser discriminada por ser mujer he hija de immigrante. Por eso, no hay mejor candidato demócrata para ser presidente de Estados Unidos que KAMALA HARRIS. VOTE por KAMALA HARRIS PARA PRESIDENTA! VOTE por CALIFORNIA!

  4. Good idea Felix, it will be very entertain watching men dressed up as woman beating the crap out of them in sports.

    Kamila Gorilla for president!

    • Yes empty Gun, it will be very entertaining watching KAMALA beating the crap out of Trump! Eso…eso es todo Amigos. Simón que si se puede! VOTE KAMALA and chip in today!

      • Felix,
        The fix is in Kamala is not even goin to make it to first base, The job is going to one of the old corrupt white guys.
        Burney not likely since they cheated him out last time. This time, the third time, is the hair sniffing, groper and fondler,
        Plugs Biden. Adios Kamala!
        Hope she keeps that migraine look going……………..

          • Time to burst your naiveite bubble Felix, sleeping with a powerful politician is the way many women in politics get there foot in the door, Hillary, and Kamala are just a guilty as the Kennedy’s or Mr. Trump.

            Your throwing mud into the swamp and calling the splash spring water.
            Kamala is just another swamp leach.

  5. Pessoas, votar em Kamala para presidente. Ela e a candidata mais qualificada; envíe sua doacao…$ 1, 5, 10, 100. Obrigado!

  6. Gente, votare per il candidato piu qualificado Kamala Harris. Invia la tua donazione $ 1, 5, 10, 100. Grazie!

  7. > Whoever becomes the new chair gets to helm the most powerful political party in one of the biggest states in the union as we head into a historically consequential presidential election year.

    Don’t ask me how I know this, but I can report that the progressive money bags who fund the Democrat party and its get-togethers spare no expense to make a good impression on the Democrat hoi polloi, win their hearts and minds. and ensure that they are well liquored and well fed.

    The “hospitality suites” at Democrat state conventions are notoriously, spectacularly hospitable, snacks and hors d’oeurves smash class boundaries, and the working class masses have a rare chance to slam down the same lox and truffles that are normally served up to the Hollywood elites.

    And, if you can pass yourself off as a party mover and shaker, the doors are wide open!

    So, Democrat masses, the Party of the People will be open for business and looking to make friends. It would be a shame if there were any imported beers or French wines left over for the hotel staff.

  8. > Presidential Hopefuls Converge in Bay Area for Cal Dem Convention

    The Cal Dem Convention is a perfect storm for deranged lunatic progressive activists:

    1. San Francisco
    2. Nancy Pelosi
    3. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Willie Brown, Joe Biden
    3 An EARLY primary state for the Democrat presidential nomination
    4. Homeless crisis; sanctuary city; housing crisis, drug crisis, needle crisis, mental health crisis, poop piles
    4. Trump Derangement Syndrome

    America is going to be entertained, if not horrified.

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