Politics Blog
January 8, 2012
By Joe Garofoli

With word (h/t FlashReport) that California Republican Vice chair Steve Baric doesn’t plan to seek the big chair, the field is now all but officially cleared for longtime legislator Jim Brulte to assume the big chair, as we told you about several weeks back.

Baric told me he doesn’t want the job. He’s got a new private election law practice going and is committed to the work he’s doing as a member of the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council.

Plus, he feels that Brulte — who first went to the Legislature when Baric was a college freshman — is the right man at the right time for the job. “Quite frankly, I think that Jim would be a perfect fit for the job,” Baric told me. He knows how to win elections, he knows Sacramento and, Baric said, the party’s major donors are feeling better knowing that he’s likely to be in charge. “They’re still wary, but they’re excited about the possibilities.”

Combine that with the blessing Tuesday of conservative blogger Jon Fleischman — aka the man Jerry Brown calls a charter member of the conservative “Legion of Acceptability” — and Brulte’s path to the chair is as clear as a slip-n-slide.

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