Republican legislators, candidates and state party leaders are headed to Orange County this weekend for the California Republican Assembly's 2014 convention. The conservative Republican volunteer organization will meet for three days in Buena Park to elect officers and endorse candidates in this election year.
Gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly, who is locked in a tight battle with Neel Kashkari to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown in November, headlines the Saturday evening banquet and post-dinner reception.
Other notable attendees include Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez of Lake Elsinore, Assemblywoman Diane Harkey of Dana Point, state Sen. Mimi Walters of Irvine, Assemblyman Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove of Bakersfield, Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel and California Republican Party Chair Jim Brulte.
VIDEO: His announcement got plenty of attention, but Brown's reelection bid is non-news, Dan Walters says.
AWAY WE GO: Several legislative committees are on the road today. The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs convenes in San Diego to discuss employment assistance programs for military veterans. The Assembly Select Committee on Justice Reinvestment meets in Los Angeles to get a Southern California perspective on prison realignment. The Assembly Select Committee on Local Emergency Preparedness also gathers in Los Angeles to discuss lessons learned from the recent LAX shooting.
HIGHER ED CONFERENCE: The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges holds its annual two-day policy and advocacy conference, starting on Sunday at 10 a.m. at the downtown Holiday Inn on J Street. Local author and journalist Sasha Abramsky, who writes about American poverty, delivers the keynote address.
BASEBALL BUCKS: Legislators often hold fundraisers outside their districts, but they usually keep them within state borders. The political action committee Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy is jumping over to Arizona this weekend for an event at the San Francisco Giants spring training in Scottsdale. Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, is among those expected to appear. Tickets start at $2,000.
GOODBYES: Sabrina Lockhart, communications director for Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, announced yesterday that she would be leaving Conway's office to pursue consulting opportunities in the private sector.
PHOTO: Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, announces he's running for California Governor, in Baldwin Park, Calif., on Nov. 5, 2013. The Associated Press/Nick Ut