California Republicans Appeal to the Asian Community

Republican Presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made an appearance today at the California Republican Party Convention, where he continued Republican’s theme of appealing to a broader electorate.

“I came to the California Convention because I want to make the case that we can put California back in play this fall if we are prepared to reach out to every Californian of every background and offer them a better future.”

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Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich addresses a group at the Asian Republican Summit of this year's California Republican Convention on February 25, 2012. Credit: IVN

He said this at the California Republican Party Convention’s first ever Asian Town Hall Event, where Republican leaders from across the state came together to stress the importance of communicating with the growing Asian population in California.

Headed by CRP Chairman Thomas Del Beccaro and Board of Equalization Chair Michelle Steel, the event featured speeches by prominent Asian American leaders.

Among those who spoke were Peter Tateishi, candidate in the 8th Assembly District, Peter Ohtaki, Vice Mayor of Menlo Park, Senator Bob Huff, and Diamond Bar Mayor Ling Ling Chang. A point of particular pride for the California Republican Party was put on display at the summit with the presence of their own version of the “Young Guns”.

Young Asian American leader Jeremy Yamaguchi, who is mayor of Placentia at age 23, stressed the importance of mobilizing the youth of the Republican party. Also appealing to the youth was the 24 year-old candidate in Congressional District 9, Ricky Gill, who focused his address on the role of students in education reform efforts. As a first generation American, Gill relates to the Asian community, noting that being an immigrant in American is “an aspirational journey a lot of people can relate to.”

Mei Mei Huff, wife of Senator Bob Huff, continued themes of inclusion and growth, highlighting the need to understand the cultural differences between Asian Americans:

Even though we all look alike, we come from different backgrounds. One size does not fit all. And when we taylor our outreach programs, we need to know our audience.

The CRP will hold it’s second Latino Town Hall Event at 2:15pm, after Newt Gingrich’s keynote speech at today’s Luncheon.