On Sunday, the Republican Party voted to extend the term limit in order to allow the ex-lawmaker who saved the party from near-bankruptcy to be able to attempt to get a third term as chairman in a state increasingly dominated by the Democratic Party.
At the annual GOP convention close to San Francisco, members voted to alter longtime party bylaws so that former state Senator Jim Brulte could again run for the position of party chairman next year. Brulte’s strong guiding hand was clear during the three-day convention, where the three candidates for the Republican Party’s Presidential candidacy, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and frontrunner Donald Trump, attempted to court their votes. Before Brulte took hold of the party in 2013, the California chapter had less than $200,000 but state campaign finance records show they now have a current bank balance of $4.5 million.
Members have been energized by the fact that the California primary next month could be vitally important in the race to the Presidency for the first time in a number of decades if Trump is unable to get enough delegates to secure the nomination before then. On Friday, protesters opposed to Trump because of his stance on immigrants blocked the road that led to the Hyatt Regency hotel holding the convention, despite drawing a standing ovation with his speech inside.
Brulte is still faced with difficulties in a party that has become fractured between libertarians, an increasingly alienated old guard, anti-immigration activists and Tea Party conservatives, and in a state where both legislative houses and all statewide-elected offices are held by Democrats.