House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is one of three delegates for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from California’s 23rd congressional district, according to an official list of delegates released late Monday.
McCarthy was known to be supportive of Trump’s efforts to recruit local delegates, but now he will formally join Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) among senior Republicans representing Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.
McCarthy’s participation as a delegate is noteworthy for a variety of reasons. One is that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is undecided on Trump, despite promising earlier in the year that he would support Trump if he won the party’s nomination.
Another reason is that McCarthy’s district, which includes Bakersfield and parts of the southern Central Valley, as well as a small piece of Los Angles County, is heavily Latino. Breitbart News had projected Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to win the 23rd.
Finally, McCarthy’s support for Trump is important because McCarthy was one of the early casualties of anti-establishment activists within the GOP. After Dave Brat defeated Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary race in Virginia in 2014, Rep. McCarthy moved up into Cantor’s place as the caucus’s heir apparent whenever then-Speaker John Boehner left or was voted out. But when Boehner retired suddenly last fall, McCarthy faced grass-roots opposition, and soon withdrew from the race.
Other notable — and perhaps unlikely — Trump delegates include billionaire Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, who had supported Cruz in his 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate; and foreign policy expert Richard Grenell, who had been slated to join Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign but was allegedly excluded because he supports gay marriage.
The Cruz campaign’s delegates were also published, though he ended his campaign last week. Mail-in voting began Tuesday; the primary ends June 7.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.