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Will California Republicans Move Away From Trump?

February 23, 2019

The 2018 election left California Republicans in dismal shape, with no statewide officeholders, just seven of 53 U.S. House seats, less than a quarter of all state legislative seats and third-place status in voter registration behind independents and Democrats. It was so bad for the GOP in California that they lost every statewide race by more than 20 points. So where do they head now, and how do they get there?

First up a new party chairperson. With the question being does an embrace of Trump help or hurt the GOP?

The candidates are Jessica Patterson, who runs a candidate recruitment and training program; Travis Allen, a former state assemblyman and unsuccessful 2018 gubernatorial candidate; and Steve Frank, a longtime party activist.

Allen and Frank want to lean in to the president’s messaging; Patterson would prefer to focus on local issues rather than the White House.

“It’s about time we have a Republican Party that stands for our values, our ideals and supports our Republican president.” said Allen, who argues too many of the party’s candidates have become “Republican-lite,” meaning they don’t fully embrace a conservative agenda.

Patterson’s take: “We are not looking to nationalize our message here in California. We’re going to be super-focused on talking about issues that are important to Californians.”

In other words stay clear of the one who allowed for a total failure for the GOP in California in 2018.

We will know this weekend.

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