by David Siders and Torey Van Oot
LOS ANGELES - Latino outreach is weighing heavy on the minds at the California Republican Party's fall convention, and for good reason: Republicans are failing to attract many of the state's growing number of Latino voters, one big reason the party is in decline.
But wouldn't you know it? A couple of well-known Latinos were on hand.
First, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, was spotted mingling with Republicans at the hotel bar late Friday night, posing for pictures with GOP power players like Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, and Flashreport.org publisher Jon Fleischman. Cedillo, a vocal advocate for immigrant rights, said he had stopped by to welcome friends to his hometown.
His registration remained unchanged.
Also still a Democrat is Tenoch Flores, the state Democratic Party's spokesman. He was in the audience for a town hall-style forum at which Republicans discussed Latino outreach this afternoon.
It's difficult, Flores said, for Republicans to appeal to both conservative forces on the right and Latinos on the left.
"I think the Republicans are sort of stuck," he said, "in a schizophrenic rut."