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In California’s Rural, Conservative North, There Are Big Dreams for Cleaving State

Candace Smith holds a shotgun and a bottle of whiskey during a fundraising auction last month in Anderson, about 10 miles south of Redding. (Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Candace Smith holds a shotgun and a bottle of whiskey during a fundraising auction last month in Anderson, about 10 miles south of Redding. (Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The two young, blond women in figure-flattering ball gowns hoisted whiskey and shotguns.

An auctioneer rattled off bids. Above the stage in the banquet hall hung a green flag for the 51st state of Jefferson, with its pair of Xs called a “double-cross” representing a sense of rural abandonment.

Hundreds of people packed into the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9650 hall on this chilly Saturday night, ready to crack open wallets to help fund their dream of carving — out of California’s northernmost reaches — a brand new state.

Someone offered $350 for a state of Jefferson belt buckle. Someone else won a lamb, still in its mother’s womb, that should be born in time to be butchered for Easter. Outside, vehicles bore bumper stickers supporting President Trump and the 2nd Amendment.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.