Lifelong Republican Changes Party to Vote for Bernie Sanders Who 'Won't Send Her Kids to War' - NBC Bay Area
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Lifelong Republican Changes Party to Vote for Bernie Sanders Who 'Won't Send Her Kids to War'

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    A longtime Los Banos Republican changes her party, and support Bernie Sanders because she feels he won't send her children to war. Stephanie Chuang reports. (Published Wednesday, May 18, 2016)

    A lifelong Republican from Los Banos changed her party affiliation to support a candidate who is perhaps the polar opposite of her usual choice: Bernie Sanders.

    Karina Karancho told her mother's story Wednesday morning at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, ahead of Sanders' 1 p.m. rally and with California's June 7 primary less than a month away.

    "My mom has six kids in the military," Karancho said, "and she always felt the Republicans were her choice."

    But her mom changed political affiliations this year so she could vote for the most liberal and progressive of leaders.

    Feelin' the Bern in the Bay Area Feelin' the Bern in the Bay Area

    "She doesn’t trust Trump with her kids," Karancho said of her mother's dislike for the Republican front-runner. "Bernie Sanders won’t send her kids to war."

    Karancho was one of several Sanders supporters awaiting the Vermont senator's second trip to the Bay Area in less than two weeks. She held a sign that read, "Enough is enough. The status quo isn’t working."

    Sanders first visited the Bay Area on May 10, when he stopped by campaign headquarters in Oakland.

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    Bernie Sanders gets a huge welcome in Okaland Tuesday.
    (Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016)

    Later Wednesday, Sanders will head to Vallejo for his second "A Future to Believe In" rally was slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Vallejo Waterfront Park, where 18,000 people are expected to attend.

    It’s obvious why a political candidate would head to the wealthy Silicon Valley to campaign. NBC Bay Area political analyst Larry Gerston noted that Sanders was likely visiting Vallejo, about an hour north of San Jose, as well, because he wants to find not just money, but votes.

    Gerston described Vallejo’s constituency as "blue-collar workers... disaffected from the mainstream Democratic party that he thinks he can capture."

    But resident Peter Brooks disputed that notion, saying Sanders must approve of Vallejo’s can-do attitude in the face of adversity.

    "Vallejo pulled itself out of bankruptcy," Brooks said Tuesday night. "Vallejo is the hottest real-estate market; the people in Vallejo care about each other."

    Contact Lisa Fernandez at lisa.fernandez@nbcuni.com or 408-432-4758. Follow on Twitter at @ljfernandez