Politics

Despite opposition, Trump nomination expected as California delegates set to gather in Cleveland

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the Trump National Golf Club Jupiter on March 8, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the Trump National Golf Club Jupiter on March 8, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Listen to story

00:51
Download this story 0MB

As California prepares to send 172 delegates to next week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, talk is swirling about anti-Donald Trump delegates who are organizing against the presumed presidential nominee. 

"I think that there's always a few people that kind of are the loudest activists, but they're not the ones that are going to prevail. So I do believe that our party is overwhelmingly united," said Noel Irwin Hentschel, a delegate for the 33rd congressional district who is leaving Los Angeles for Cleveland on Sunday. 

When Hentschel and other California delegates arrive, anti-Trump delegates will already be there. One opposition group that's been organizing has opened up an office and set up a website called Delegates Unbound. 

Hentschel has supported Trump from the beginning.

"His being unpredictable is actually beneficial for our country," Hentschel said. She expects Trump will help bolster the country's national security and international business relations. 

Jim Lacey, an attorney who's been involved in politics for many years, said he's excited to be going to the convention as one of the state's at-large delegates. He originally supported former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but grew impressed with Trump after listening to him speak and watching him perform well in debates. 

Lacey said from his view, the power of the anti-Trump delegates has been blown out of proportion by the media.

"There is overwhelming delegate support for Donald Trump," he said, describing California's delegation in particular as "bedrock Trump."

When the California Republicans gathered at their state convention in April, fistfights and protests broke out. Secret Service agents had to improvise an entrance for Trump at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport to avoid protesters. They cut through a highway fence, walking Trump over a ditch and leading him into the hotel through a back door.

Similar protests are expected in Cleveland where about 2,470 delegates will congregate at the Quicken Loans Arena. 

Meanwhile, Trump has announced he has selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Pence, a soft-spoken former congressman popular among evangelicals, is viewed as a good counterweight to Trump's boisterous style and lack of long-established conservative credentials.

This story has been updated.