Experienced hand seen as key to revitalizing a wounded GOP
By Mark Walker6:34 p.m.Jan. 18, 2013Updated6:23 p.m.

Jim Brulte likens the California GOP to the San Diego Chargers.

“Like the Republican Party, they didn’t have a very good year,” says Brulte, a Charger season ticket holder and the man in line to become GOP state chairman in March.

Brulte is a seasoned politician faced with the task of leading party’s resurgence, something desperately need for a group San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, a former GOP state legislator, says is in “shambles.”

For the GOP, the wreckage from the November election was widespread: Republican losses gave Democrats a powerful two-thirds majority in the Assembly and Senate, which gives them the ability to raise taxes without GOP votes. In San Diego County, a Democrat sits on the Board of Supervisors for the first time in 18 years, and three-term GOP incumbent Brian Bilbray lost his seat to Democrat Scott Peters, giving the congressional delegation its first-ever 3-2 Democratic edge.

Continuing his football metaphor, Brulte says the party that also holds no statewide offices has to erase the chalkboard and design a new offense.

“If you do the blocking and tackling right, your quarterback can connect with the pass,” said the former assemblyman and state senator. “Just ask Philip Rivers — you can’t connect with a pass when you’re on your back.”

Brulte faces no opposition to being anointed chairman when Republicans gather for their annual convention in Sacramento March 1-3.

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