California GOP Attempts to Flip Losing Streak With New Candidate Endorsement Rules

Beth Baumann
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Posted: Oct 23, 2017 2:00 PM
California GOP Attempts to Flip Losing Streak With New Candidate Endorsement Rules

Over the last seven years, the California Republican Party has struggled to come out victorious. It's not surprising, considering California's progressive streak but they have more than party preference working against them.

Back in 2010, voters approved Prop. 14, which created a top-two system. Instead of having a Republican primary and a Democratic primary, only one primary would exist. The top two primary winners would then go on to the general election, at which point one winner was picked. 

The idea behind Prop. 14 was simple: to promote more moderate candidates and prevent political gridlock. The reality? Both sides dislike the proposition but for very different reasons.

Republicans have even less of a chance of winning statewide office than before Prop. 14 was enacted. On the other hand, Democrats are now having to battle other Democrats to make it into the top two instead of focusing on differentiating themselves from their Republican counterparts.

"I wouldn’t have to spend millions in Dem-on-Dem races in Democratic districts across the state," if there wasn't a top-two system, Eric Bauman, chairman of the California Democratic Party told SFGate.

During their annual convention this past weekend, the California GOP decided to make it easier for a candidate to receive the party's endorsement. 

On one hand, making it easier to receive the party's endorsement means more Republicans are likely to come out of the woodworks sooner. This gives voters an opportunity to get to know the candidate's values as well as the Republican Party's values.

On the flip side, removing those safeguards can put the state party at risk. It means an outsider who doesn't have a firm grasp on conservative principles can win the nomination.

Making Themselves Viable

“We have to give ourselves a chance to win,” Republican National Committeewoman and San Francisco attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who proposed the change, told SFGate. “We should stop putting ourselves at a disadvantage to Democrats."

As it currently stands, the California Democratic Party endorses during the primaries, something the CA GOP has yet to do.

“I’ll be darned if I sit on my hands while the Democratic Party endorses, the Chamber of Commerce endorses, the special interests endorse, all the unions endorse,” San Diego Republican Party Chair Tony Krvaric said.

Obtaining The Endorsement

In order to obtain the Republican party's endorsement, a candidate must:

• Be a registered Republican for one year
• Receive the written endorsement of 200 party delegates throughout the state
• Receive backing from five of the party's board members
• Receive the support of 60 percent of the party's delegates at state convention