- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Donald Trump, who has been sharply criticizing the Republican Party’s system for selecting delegates in the presidential contest, will speak at a convention of party members in California later this month, officials said Wednesday.

The California Republican Party said in a statement that the billionaire businessman will deliver a speech April 29 at the group’s convention in Burlingame, just outside San Francisco.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich are also scheduled to speak at the weekend-long conclave in advance of the state’s June 7 primary, which could be potentially decisive in the race.

“This is the most exciting Republican presidential primary California has seen in generations,” state party Vice Chair Harmeet Dhillon said in a statement.

In a statement released by the state party, Trump said California “has struggled to regain its full economic success” and promised a “pro-jobs” agenda.

An independent Field Poll released earlier this month had Trump leading the field at 39 percent of likely GOP voters, trailed by Cruz at 32 percent and Kasich at 18 percent. Others were undecided.

Trump has spent several days denouncing the GOP’s delegate-selection process as “unfair.”

At a rally in Rome, New York on Tuesday, Trump criticized the allocation of all of Colorado’s delegates to Cruz and called the party’s system “rigged” and “corrupt.”

As far back as last summer Cruz began to put together a campaign operation that would assemble a slate of delegates for the convention, with Trump and Kasich lagging behind in organizing. The campaigns have until early May to submit a slate of delegates - awarded based on the results of the primary election - to the Secretary of State.


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