California Republican Party Elects Its First Female Leader

California Republicans named a new chair Sunday, electing Jessica Patterson, a Latina, the first woman to lead the state party after it suffered historic losses in the November midterm elections.

Patterson defeated former Huntington Beach Assemblyman Travis Allen and longtime GOP activist Steve Frank for the post, winning 55% of the vote after a contentious campaignthat exposed deep rifts in the party’s base.

“Today, we are starting the next chapter in our party’s history,” Patterson told convention attendees Sunday morning in Sacramento. “No egos, no personal agendas, no drama. We’re going to be about one thing: winning.”

Delegates who voted for Patterson said she was a fresh face who could help broaden the party’s reach and steer it back toward relevance. The 38-year-old mother of two is a longtime political operative and the chief executive of California Trailblazers, a group that trains Republican legislative candidates. She will lead a team of newly elected executive officers that includes Vice-Chairman Peter Kuo, a Taiwanese American immigrant, and Treasurer Gregory Gandrud, who is gay.

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