State political leaders mull a Donald Trump run for president
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Just a few days after Donald Trump became the presumptive presidential nominee for the Republican Party, the GOP is clearly not fully behind him after House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest ranking elected Republican, announced Thursday that he is not ready to back the real estate mogul.
Several leaders of the state's Republican and Democratic parties -- and voters -- are wondering how this will impact California voters during the primary election, which is just a month away.
Harmeet Dhillon, vice chair of California's Republican Party, says she was surprised by Ryan's reaction. She said it's time for the Republican Party to move forward and unite behind the party's nominee.
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"We need to get behind the Republican nominee of the party. I'm one of those people and I expect to see that from party leadership...frankly because that's our job," says Dhillon.
The California Republican party leader says she was not a Trump supporter, at least not initially. But with Ted Cruz and John Kasich out of the race, she says she expects Ryan and other Republicans to change their tune.
"We're still in the hangover phase of this recent decision. I think people will come around," says Dhillon.
She said she's glad the top of the Republican ticket has been decided, but acknowledges that it could lower voter turnout among Republicans for the June 7 California Primary
"It's thrown the entire voter turnout models to hell," Dhillon said. "We had predictions for voter turnout in all the campaigns, in the Assembly, the Senate."
"I don't think it's going to affect the Democratic primary," said John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party. "I think it's still going to be very spirited."
He said Republicans are in a bind.
"The Republicans don't like Trump and they don't like Hillary," he said. "They're in a God-knows-what kind of situation,"
Burton says the Democratic Party is focused on getting people registered to vote. then getting them to the polls in November, to make sure a Democrat carries California.
In San Francisco at the 6th Annual More than Magic reception, a fundraiser to help underserved youth, we found registered voters who've been following both the Republican and Democratic presidential races.
"Whether it's him or her, get out and vote regardless of who you're voting for," says Antoinette Commer, a registered Democrat.
Voters say the presumed race between Trump and Clinton is one they don't want to miss.
"It's going to be a great show. It's going to be pretty entertaining," says Nico Bremond, a registered Independent.
The U.S. Senate seat on the June ballot is among the races that in the absence of a contested GOP primary could hurt Republicans.
According to polls, the top two candidates are both Democrats: State Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez.
That means the three known Republican candidates, former state party Chairmen Duf Sundheim, Tom Del Beccaro and former gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz, are now facing steeper odds to claim the office .
KTVU reporter Amber Lee contributed to this report.