At its annual convention this past weekend in Sacramento, members of the California State Republican Party vowed to renew their efforts to work together to defeat Democrats and broaden their coalition both in California and nationally.
With Democrats currently holding super-majorities in the California legislature and with Republican party registration below 30% in the state, many of the members at this year’s convention believe this is a critical juncture for the state party as they attempt to forge a path forward. In the wake of their disappointing results in the 2012 elections, GOP leaders at both the national and state levels have been seeking ways to rebuild and rebrand their party, while others have chosen to assign blame for the loss and resist fundamental change.
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Scott Hounsell, the Executive Director of the Republican party of Los Angeles County, says that he for one is done with divisive intraparty squabbles. “I’m done fighting Republicans. I want to fight Democrats,” said Hounsell. “I don’t want to fight Karl Rove or Tea Party members or anyone that may support other [conservative] candidates.”
Among the speakers at this year’s convention were Karl Rove, the noted GOP strategist who led both of George W. Bush’s successful presidential campaigns, and San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa. The common theme in all the presentations was that the party needs to shake off past failures and move forward.
“Obviously 2012 was not a good year for Republicans,” said Hounsell. ‘We don’t want to look [ahead] just two years from now to see how we’re going to do. We want to look 2-4-6-8-10-20 years in the future and make sure we take back our state [and] our county seat by seat. We want to make sure we are targeting seats that are winnable. That we have good candidates that can communicate our conservative ideals to people.”
Aside from trying to win more elective offices, Republicans also anticipate the need to revisit some of the hot-button cultural issues that have divided the state in the past. Among the issues likely to come up again are same-sex marriage (with the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled to rule on California’s Prop 8 in its current session) and the decriminalization of marijuana, which was rejected by voters in 2010 but has gained growing acceptance in recent state polls.
- California Republicans Meet, Look To Rebuild State Party
- Source: Santa Clarita News
- Kevin Kelton
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