In 2010, Harris squeaked into office with 46 percent of the vote. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley came within a point of becoming the only GOP statewide officeholder.
Even with a dearth of GOP hopefuls, everyone I talked to had great things to say about Brulte, even California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton. Brulte, he told me, is "smart enough to focus" on legislative races and local contests his party can win.
The GOP has no bench, said Burton, before he asked me, "Have you ever thought of throwing your hat into the ring?"