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White nationalist, non-Trump supporter included on Trump California delegate slate

By
Eric DuVall
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally in New York City on May 3. Trump's list of delegates in California includes a self-avowed white nationalist and a local politician who told the campaign repeatedly he does not support the candidate. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally in New York City on May 3. Trump's list of delegates in California includes a self-avowed white nationalist and a local politician who told the campaign repeatedly he does not support the candidate. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

SACRAMENTO, May 12 (UPI) -- The list of delegates filed by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's campaign in California included a self-avowed white nationalist and a former assemblyman who told the campaign he does not support the candidate.

The oversights harken back to several instances when Trump stole defeat from the jaws of victory in other states, where he scored victories at the polls but allowed his former rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, to pack the delegate list with loyalists who pledged to vote for him at a contested contention.

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The California delegate list problems do not threaten to harm the Trump campaign in any substantive way, but have proven embarrassing, especially in the case of William Johnson, a white nationalist who raised eyebrows after making it through the campaign's lax delegate vetting process to appear on the final list.

The campaign said it was a mistake and they had previously removed Johnson's name from the delegate list, but it was somehow added back on before the final list was sent to the California secretary of state for certification.

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"Upon careful review of computer records, the inclusion of a potential delegate that had previously been rejected and removed from the campaign's list in February 2016, was discovered," the Trump campaign's California State Director Tim Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "This was immediately corrected and a final list, which does not include this individual, was submitted for certification."

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Johnson, a lawyer who leads the American Freedom Party, has since told NPR he has "resigned" his position as a Trump delegate and will not attend the GOP convention.

His inclusion on the list was first reported by the liberal outlet Mother Jones.

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The second problem on Trump's delegate list involved a former Republican assemblyman, Bob Pacheco, who is now the mayor of Walnut, Calif. Pacheco had initially expressed interest in becoming a Trump delegate and signed up with the state party.

Later, he told the Los Angeles Times he was "reconsidering" his support for Trump and contacted the campaign, asking to be taken off the list of potential delegates. Pacheco provided the Times with multiple emails to the Trump campaign asking to be removed from the list, but apparently his request never made it as far as Katie Lagomarsino, Trump's California delegate coordinator.

The Times attempted to track down Lagomarsino, but Clark, Trump's California campaign director, said she does not speak to the media. According to the Times, Lagomarsino is a 22-year-old college student who was studying for final exams when the delegate selection process took place.

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The Times reported Lagomarsino worked briefly for a Sacramento-based political fundraising firm, but the campaign declined to say how or why she was put in charge of vetting potential Trump delegates.

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Though the campaign pledged both names would be left off the final delegate slate, it remained unclear Wednesday whether that was possible. A spokesman for the California secretary of state's office said the campaign only contacted them on Tuesday, after the deadline for final certification of a candidate's delegate slate had passed.

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