Calif. GOP elects old hand to fix party

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(Photo credit: Jim Brulte)

(Photo credit: Jim Brulte)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California Republicans have elected a former state lawmaker as party chairman and charged him with leading a major turnaround effort.

More than 1,000 delegates on Sunday elected Jim Brulte to take over after sweeping losses in the November election, and the room erupted in applause when his election was announced.

He has promised to focus on fundraising and remaking the party’s voter outreach and candidate recruitment.

Republicans have been losing support for 20 years, with registration dropping below 30 percent last year. The party also is deeply in debt.

GOP delegates also elected the first woman and first Sikh, Harmeet Dhillon, to serve as the party’s vice-chairwoman.

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