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California secretary of state to switch GOP allegiance and endorse McCain

February 16, 2000
Web posted at: 10:08 a.m. EST (1508 GMT)

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) -- CNN has learned that California Secretary of State Bill Jones, the state's only Republican elected to statewide office, will switch allegiances in the GOP presidential race Wednesday and endorse Arizona Senator John McCain.

Jones planned to make his announcement at 10:30 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) in Los Angeles, according to Republican sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

These sources said McCain's camp would trumpet the news as a major breakthrough in California and also as evidence that leading Republican establishment figures who rushed to support Texas Gov. George W. Bush now are having second thoughts.

McCain campaign spokesmen declined comment, although one did say the California campaign planned a major announcement Wednesday.

One of the sources said the switch would not bring much organizationally to the McCain California effort -- the secretary of state does not have the political network or state government apparatus of a governor or even a lieutenant governor. But this source, a McCain ally, said that the Jones endorsement would be a "major psychological boost" to the McCain effort in California, and could perhaps lead to other switchers.

But a major Bush ally in the state who was aware of Jones' plans said the entire GOP congressional delegation and the overwhelming majority of Republicans in the state legislature had endorsed Bush, and that there was no signs of any crumbling of support.

 
ELECTION 2000


CALENDAR
See how quickly the primary and caucus season will take off with this calendar.


VIDEO
Watch selected policy speeches and campaign commercials from the major presidential candidates.


WHAT'S AT STAKE


HISTORY
If you have a Flash-capable browser, take a look at the history of key events during the primary season.


CANDIDATE BIOS
Quick takes on the White House hopefuls.


RACES
If you need to know who's up in 1999 or 2000 and what seats are open launch this quick guide.


THE STATES
Who are your elected officials? What is the past presidential vote and number of electoral votes in your state? Find out with these state political and election facts.


POLLS
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WHO'S IN-WHO'S OUT
Who is running, who isn't running and who has already dropped out? Check out our tally sheet.


FOLLOW THE MONEY
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Wednesday, February 16, 2000


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