NBC

California Democratic Convention Comes to a Close in San Francisco

The California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco came to a close Sunday.

Three presidential hopefuls — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney — capped the three-day event with speeches before those in attendance at the Moscone Center.

Sanders kicked things off in rousing fashion, firing up delegates eager to take back the White House.

"Let me thank everybody in this room for your determination to defeat the worst president in the history of this country, a president who is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe and a religious bigot," Sanders said.

Castro picked up where Sanders left off, telling delegates he was looking forward to President Donald Trump's last day at the White House.

"The helicopter will be there waiting in the distance to take him away, and right before he leaves, right before he walks away, I'm gonna tell him, 'Adios,'" Castro said, evoking cheers from the crowd.

But it was Delaney who stirred the hornet's nest, drawing boos for his views on medicare for all.

"Medicare for all may sound good, but it's actually not good policy nor is it good politics," Delaney said.

The three candidates were among 14 presidential contenders who made the trip to San Francisco for the gathering of the California Democratic Party, which featured thousands of fervent activists. Former Vice President Joe Biden was the only big-name candidate to skip the gathering, opting instead to campaign in Ohio. That allowed Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris and others a chance to grab the spotlight.

California has shifted its 2020 primary earlier on the calendar, to March 3, part of the Super Tuesday collection of contests, in hopes of giving the state more sway in choosing the party’s nominee. California will offer the largest delegate haul, but it is a notoriously difficult state to campaign in, given its massive size and expensive media markets.

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

The race for the 2020 presidential election is underway, and the field of Democratic candidates is packed. Those who have announced presidential bids include a vice president, senators, House members and three mayors. As for the GOP, a single Republican has announced his bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the party nomination: former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who ran for vice president (and lost) in 2016 on the Libertarian party ticket.

Click the photos to learn more

Updated Nov. 20, 2019
Note: Incorrect information about Michael Bennet’s cancer diagnosis and titles for Joe Sestak and William Weld have been revised on July 29, 2019, 3:17 p.m. ET.
Credit: Jo Bruni, Emma Barnett, Asher Klein, Dan Macht, Kelly Zegers / NBC;  Photos: Getty Images

For coverage of Saturday's slate of speakers, click here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Us