Facing intense backlash from their Latino constituents, two California Republicans have announced they no longer wish to serve as delegates for presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
Mario Guerra, a member of the California Republican Party’s board of directors, told the Sacramento Bee that he was unaware becoming a delegate would mean pledging his support to the nominee.
After receiving angry calls and emails from Latino activists and other politicians, the Mexican-American Guerra told the newspaper that he asked the campaign on Thursday to remove him from their delegate list because of “personal business reasons.”
“I’m trying to unify the party to a point,” Guerra said, as quoted by the Bee. “But I really don’t want to be in a position on there where it actually tears down the Latino community in whatever way, shape or form.”
Former state Assemblyman Bob Pacheco has also asked to withdraw as a delegate, according to the newspaper. Pacheco said he filled out a questionnaire to become a Trump delegate and, after changing his mind, was mistakenly included.
Trump’s California delegate list has stoked a mini-media firestorm since the secretary of state’s office released it late Monday. White nationalist leader William Johnson appeared on the slate as an approved delegate, prompting the Trump campaign to blame his inclusion on a “database error” and Johnson to say he’d resign. Guy St. Onge, an anti-Muslim pastor, also stepped down to “take one for the team” and two more delegates, Harold Wright and Vera John, have withdrawn, according to the Bee.
The secretary of state’s office has said that the campaign’s list of delegates could not be altered after the May 9 submission deadline. California GOP general counsel Charles Bell then intervened, according to a report from The Guardian, sending a letter to the agency arguing that Republican Party bylaws “supersede” the California election code regarding deadlines.
Bell wrote that “the posting of an inaccurate listing will lead to public confusion” and asked the secretary of state to pull the list from its website, according to The Guardian. The office declined, but added a note on its site explaining that the California GOP’s website had posted the updated list. Alternate delegates have been named to replace those who withdrew either voluntarily or at the request of the Trump campaign.
As of Friday morning, Pacheco, Johnson, St. Onge, John and Wright had been removed from the GOP’s updated list. Guerra’s name was still on it.