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photo (13).JPGCalifornia Republicans elected former GOP legislative leader Jim Brulte as the party's new leader this morning.

Brulte, who served in the Legislature until 2004, faced no serious opposition in his bid to become California Republican Party chairman. He replaces Tom Del Beccaro, who decided not to run for a second term after a rocky run as chair.

Brulte is taking over at a low point for Republicans in California. Republicans currently hold no statewide office and account for less than 30 percent of the state's registered voters. They lost key congressional races and ceded supermajority control of the state Legislature to Democrats in the 2012 election.

Brulte says he wants to focus on "blocking and tackling" - seeking to revive the party's fundraising, voter registration and turnout programs. Supporters passed out buttons with a picture of nuts and bolts before the vote at the general session of the party's spring convention.

He plans to continue his day job as a principal of governmental and public affairs firm California Strategies as he assumes the volunteer chairman post.

Republicans also elected San Francisco attorney Harmeet Dhillon as vice chair.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jim Brulte talks to California Republican Party convention attendees before heading into the general session where he was elected chairman. Torey Van Oot, Sacramento Bee.


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