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News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

'It was drama from start to finish': A recap of the California Democratic Party convention

by Take Two®

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File: Eric Bauman (R) speaks onstage during the Yes on Prop 62 Coalition Announcement at Los Angeles Grand Park on July 14, 2016. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Yes on Prop 62

The California Democrats' sometimes raucous state convention wrapped on Sunday. When the dust settled there was a new party chair and droves of unhappy people.

Eric Bauman narrowly defeated progressive newcomer, Kimberly Ellis. His victory was met with boos and crowds chanting "shame."

The tight race further highlighted democratic divisions at the state level and it may not bode well for the party in the future. Politico's Carla Marinucci was there and she joined A Martinez to discuss some convention highlights.

"It was drama from start to finish."

"This was at the end of a caustic contest between Eric Bauman who is, of course, a longtime party operative...and this newcomer, Kimberly Ellis, who's been working for Emerge America, a woman's political group.

This was sort of cast as this contest between the "Berniecrats" with Ellis who said new faces, new voices for the party are necessary. And Bauman who said that California has a good record of producing democrats in higher office and he wanted to continue that. So, it was insider vs. outsider...

This contest came down so close, 62 votes out of 3,000 cast and Kimberly Ellis's folks just said that they thought the election was stolen....Ellis says she wants to see an audit, documentation of the votes. She did not appear on stage with him, there was no unity hand raising at the end. It was drama from start to finish."

The division is affecting the state party

"This is five months after the election of Donald Trump, you would've thought the 'Berniecrats' and the Hilary folks would've been able to sort of put it aside and move forward and it's very clear that that still hasn't happened. 

That's what party officials are worried about. At the convention people like Christine Pelosi and John Burton were saying, 'Look, we got to have harmony. We got to have unity because there's a lot to do.' When you're talking about 2018, California can be key to flipping back the house and if you're going to have this kind of division going forward and it looks like the bitterness over this contest can go on, democrats have got to be worried about how it's going to affect things like fundraising, organizing, get out the vote, all this stuff is at stake and it was on full display this weekend at the party convention in Sacramento."

Gubernatorial candidates went 'full peacock'

"This was a moment for them and this is where you saw Gavin Newsom the frontrunner of the race, he's lieutenant governor, he's got more money, he's ahead of the polls. He was out in full display, he had a huge concert with Common. He was doing multiple events, back to back events. He was all over the place.

The rest of them used their moment. State Treasurer John Chiang did back to back interviews with folks, he really seems to have upped his game in terms of his ability to get his message out.

Antonio Villaraigosa, he was there and really really taking off the gloves on Gavin Newsom, referring to Davos democrats, that world economic forum in Switzerland, you know, for the elite and talking about how you can't go after Donald Trump just on twitter. That was definitely a throw at Gavin Newsom...

Everybody was watching all of these folks. This is an important race coming up, who's going to succeed Jerry Brown? This was the moment for them to make contact with those grassroots activists and up their name recognition."

To listen to the full interview, click the blue play button above. 

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