Capitol Alert

California Republicans change rules to keep Jim Brulte at helm

California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte addresses delegates at the state party convention in Burlingame on May 1, 2016.
California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte addresses delegates at the state party convention in Burlingame on May 1, 2016. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

California Republicans recruited Jim Brulte, a prominent former lawmaker, to revive a dilapidated party following the 2012 elections in which Democrats seized two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Legislature.

On Sunday, party activists voted to extend term limits for Brulte to keep him at the helm.

In an expected, overwhelming vote at the state party’s convention outside of San Francisco, Republicans elected to let Brulte seek up to two more, two-year terms as chairman starting next year.

Brulte, a highly regarded tactician, is credited with shifting the party’s focus from ideology to fundraising, voter registration and turnout. Though the party’s ranks continue to shrink in California, Brulte has overseen an improvement in its finances, and Republicans have cut into Democratic majorities in the Legislature.

He said Sunday that he plans to run for re-election.

But when a smattering of delegates voted ‘no,’ Brulte couldn’t resist a joke: “Nay, I’m with you.”

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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