California Dems in crisis as presidential hopefuls descend in San Francisco

Democratic presidential hopefuls are descending on California this week for an annual convention of the state party as it faces a #MeToo firestorm.

Home state Sen. Kamala Harris, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are among the candidates coming to court party faithful at the California Democratic Party convention. The gathering is a major draw for activists who get far fewer chances to interact with presidential hopefuls than their counterparts in traditional early voting states.

In all, 14, of the 23 Democratic presidential hopefuls will be at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. 

San Francisco Chronicle political reporter Joe Garofoli asked, "Why does anyone come to California?" And then he answered: "They come for love, cash, money. They come for a second chance. And that's why everyone's coming."

He added that because the delegates will be allotted proportionally," it's not winner take all." 

The weekend will include about 10 minutes of speech time, and other side events that include fundraising and rallies. Garofoli said some of the candidates just want to "get on the map." 

The Dems will also be sharing the weekend's spotlight with an election for a new party chair.

The party is voting to replace Eric Bauman, who resigned in November amid allegations he drank on the job and sexually harassed and abused staff. Three lawsuits have been filed against him. Bauman has denied the allegations.

"There's going to be a fight for the new state party chair that's going to be very contentious," Garofoli said. "There's several people running. The last time that was just a very raucous scene. Because let's face it, this is a very powerful position."


KTVU contributed to this report.