Jim Brulte hopes to keep a job few would envy: As chairman of the California Republican Party, he’s tasked with trying to steer his party out of the wilderness in one of the bluest states in the nation.
As the party looks ahead to a high-stakes governor’s race and midterm elections in 2018, it faces a grim reality: A Republican hasn’t been elected to statewide office here in more than a decade, and the Democrats hold a powerful supermajority in the state Legislature. The GOP’s share of registered voters in California is just 27.3%, its lowest since 1980, and it has yet to field a prominent candidate in the 2018 governor’s race.
Brulte vows that the party’s fortunes will improve in the 2018 election, including one or two top-shelf candidates running for governor. He’ll make his case in Sacramento this weekend at the California Republican Party’s three-day convention, where GOP delegates banking on Brulte to deliver are expected to vote Sunday in favor of extending his reign as chairman for a third term.
Donald Trump’s election provides an opening, Brulte said. ...