Capitol Alert

Jim Brulte easily re-elected California GOP boss

In an overwhelming show of support, California Republicans re-elected their party chairman Jim Brulte to his third term Sunday.

“Thank you very much,” Brulte told the 795 delegates gathered at the Sacramento Convention Center for the California Republican Party’s three-day gathering.

Brulte said headed into 2018, the Republican Party is focused on adding Republicans to state and federal office, but the top priority is electing a Republican governor. He said Trump’s presidency could boost that effort.

“Battles are battles – we understand we’re the minority party,” Brulte said. “I think when Donald Trump executes the important policies he campaigned on, the country will benefit, and the state will benefit.”

The weekend was largely a celebration of Donald Trump’s presidency, with many delegates proudly sporting red caps emblazoned with the words “Make California Great Again.”

Brulte, first elected in 2013 following the 2012 election in which Democrats captured two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the state Legislature, faced no challengers this year.

He continues in his leadership post of a party with dwindling ranks. Democrats, who have long dominated the state Legislature, again seized a supermajorities last year.

Brulte, a former state legislator and principal at the public affairs firm California Strategies, is credited with helping the party ramp up its fundraising effort, with hopes of gaining steam in 2018. Many Republicans also said they see Trump’s presidency as a way to energize the party over the next four years.

“I love the direction the country is going,” said Matthew Martin, 24, a delegate from Bakersfield.

The party last year altered its two-term limit to allow Brulte’s re-election Sunday.

Kristin Olsen, a former state assemblywoman and current member of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, was elected as vice chair.

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