Calif. GOP pins turnaround hopes on new chairman

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Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 12:05 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As Republicans nationwide reconsider the party's direction, nowhere is their challenge more daunting than in California.

The state that produced Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and the "Orange County conservative" has banished the GOP to the margins, with the party now accounting for less than 30 percent of all registered voters.

In an attempt to restore their relevance, Republican delegates are expected to elect Jim Brulte as their new chairman this weekend, a former state lawmaker who is widely seen as a pragmatist and a political moderate.

Brulte says the party's fortunes cannot be reversed overnight, but his plan is to focus on what he calls the GOP's core values, "smaller government, less taxes, greater parental control and more local control."

It remains unclear, however, whether he or anyone else can turn the party around.

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