BURLINGAME, CALIF. — On March 14, the California Republican Party held its annual spring convention at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame. The goal of the convention — its theme “Rebuild, Renew, Reclaim” — was to “rebuild our party from the ground up, renew important community relationships, and reclaim California for our families and our future,” according to the website.
In the face of declining numbers of Republican voters in the state, Republican leaders discussed California’s political landscape at the convention.
“This is a party that, whether we like it or not, has been in decline for over two decades in this state,” said Jim Brulte, the current chairman of the California Republican Party and former Republican state Senate leader, in a speech. “We have a significant rebuilding operation on our hands.”
Speakers included Dr. Condoleezza Rice, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and San Diego mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer. Each spoke about party strategies in California, including a stronger emphasis on grassroots efforts — including permanent “on-the-ground” teams of Republican activists and greater inclusion of minority groups — and more technologically-advanced voter data collection.
Tim Donnelly, a conservative assemblyman from Southern California and candidate for governor, noted the increasing power independents hold.
“The independents are the fastest growing demographic – they have power to wield,” he said. “They ought to show up at the table and start demanding answers to the issues.”
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Of nonpartisan voters, Donnelly noted that his strategy will be to “show up and talk to them,” articulating “principles that are universal.”
Photo Credit: Scott Detrow/KQED