Chad Mayes

Melanie Mason
May 5, 2016 – 2:25 P.M.

Just six days ago, Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes was the opening act to his preferred presidential pick, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, at the California GOP convention.

Now, with Kasich exiting the race, Mayes is still coming to grips with the prospect of Donald Trump as his party’s presumptive nominee.

“We just have to wait and see,” said Mayes, of Yucca Valley, in an interview. “One thing I have to remind myself is that we are months away from November. We don’t know yet what’s going to happen in the next couple months.”

One unknown, Mayes said, is how Trump’s candidacy will evolve as he tries to appeal beyond the Republican primary electorate.

“I’m hopeful Trump will take on a much more positive tone in general,” Mayes said.

Those unknowns could complicate Mayes’ task to defend several incumbent members of his GOP caucus who are facing spirited challenges from Democrats. He said he’s assessing how Trump at the top of the ticket could affect the dynamic in those contested races.

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