Despite Festive Mood at California GOP Convention, Party Still Faces Hard Reality in State

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San Diego Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric attends the California Republican Party convention in Sacramento on Feb. 26, 2017. (Carl Costas / For The Times)

California Republicans were in a festive mood at their weekend convention in Sacramento.

They toasted their airy new downtown headquarters with views of the Capitol and decorated with pictures of Ronald Reagan and other memorabilia from the party’s storied history in the state. They reelected leadership that had turned a practically bankrupt party into one that raised $19 million last year. And they celebrated having helped elect a Republican president for the first time in more than a decade.

“Isn’t it nice to win?” Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare asked hundreds of delegates and guests during a dinner speech Saturday night.

But for all the cheer, the state GOP still faces a hard reality. It has not elected a statewide politician in more than a decade, its numbers are dwindling, Democrats have a supermajority in both houses of the Legislature and, after three consecutive election cycles where Republicans ceded the top posts in government to Democrats, it has no major prospects to run for governor or Senate next year.

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