Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faces a California challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders as her campaign opened a new office in the state’s Inland Empire on Sunday.
Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) spoke at the campaign office opening with words of endorsement for Clinton. The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported that Torres was one of a few California Democrats that held out on endorsing the former Secretary of State. She made the announcement to a group of about 50 Clinton supporters gathered at the Colton office. The supporters took to the phones after the ceremony to try to convince Californians to vote Hillary over Bernie.
Torres called for not only supporting Clinton but winning back a majority of Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Daily Bulletin. She told the group that she voted Bill Clinton for President in her first presidential election.
Of those gathered at the office opening, the Bulletin reported “some” voiced passionate support for electing Clinton. Others attended out of general support for Democrats. Redlands supporter Michael Tesauro said his focus was on stopping Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump in November.
Tesauro’s comments may provide insight into Clinton’s strategy, focusing in on slamming Trump during last week’s campaign rally at the University of California, Riverside.
At the Clinton UC Riverside event, several dozen protesters had to be ejected. The small venue was filled to overflowing, with many rally-goers turned away. Protesters also marched outside the event. Criticism ranged from calls to release her “Wall Street transcripts” to “Hillary has got to go.”
The campaign office opening comes as Democratic candidate Sanders moves into a California dead heat with Clinton in a new poll released this week. The mid-May Public Policy Institute of California surveyed likely Democratic primary election voters who identify as Democrat or independent. Among those, 46 percent expressed support for Clinton and 44 percent said they plan to support Sanders.
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