For the first time, California Republicans are skipping their post-primary “Unity Breakfast,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The gathering is a decadeslong tradition intended to bring cohesion to the party after primary candidates spend months campaigning against each other. But the GOP’s internal struggles to rebrand throughout this election cycle make forging ahead in harmony unlikely, party officials told the Chronicle, warning that moderate gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari’s victory over tea party candidate Tim Donnelly will not go over smoothly.
“There are going to be a lot of people who are really angry,” an anonymous GOP official told the Chronicle, “and they will be angry at anyone who is seen to produce a victory for him.”
However, a Donnelly win would have offset similar tensions, the official added.
The two candidates’ fight for the gubernatorial nomination has remained at the forefront of California Republicans’ attempt to unify the party, which they hoped would counter years of declining GOP registration. While party leaders threw themselves behind the moderate Kashkari, an abortion and gay rights supporter who voted for Obama in 2008, they were alarmed to see such support for Donnelly, a highly conservative candidate with far-right views on gun control and immigration.