Jim Brulte

Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party gives the keynote address at the Victor Valley Republican Club and the High Desert Republican Women Federated at the ‘Dinner with Senator Jim Brulte, (RET)” event at the Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday, in Victorville. (David Pardo, Daily Press)

POLITICS

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted May. 8, 2015 at 12:01 AM
Updated at 11:10 PM

VICTORVILLE — California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte urged fellow Republicans on Thursday night to remain patient as the party seeks to build on gains made last year. He also made no bones about the party’s nationwide goal: defeating Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton in her bid for the White House.

Outlining the state GOP’s local strategy, which he said included more emphasis on county chapters, engaging volunteers, walking precincts and meeting with potential donors, Brulte also couldn’t help but steer the conversation toward next year’s presidential showdown.

“Whoever you want to support for president, I wish you all the best,” he told a packed house at Hilton Garden Inn during a fundraiser sponsored by Victor Valley Republican Club and High Desert Republican Women Federated. “I don’t know who our nominee is going to be, but I’m prepared to bet that whoever we nominate for president, on their worst day in office, will be better for this country than Hillary Clinton.”

The remark drew loud applause from event-goers, who paid $50 per person or $350 for a table of eight to attend. Many city officials were on hand, including Victorville Mayor Gloria Garcia, Hesperia Mayor Eric Schmidt, Apple Valley Mayor Larry Cusack and a slew of City Council members. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and former 33rd District Assemblyman Tim Donnelly also were present.

State Board of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner and his wife, 21st District state Sen. Sharon Runner, also spoke briefly. Sharon Runner announced that she plans to seek reelection in 2016.

Attempting to also rally support for GOP presidential hopefuls, Runner vowed that “we’re going to take out Hillary” as she painted candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, in particular as a Clinton rival.

“Even to have a woman in the race, Carly, I think it gives an ability for her to say some things about a woman that only a woman can say about a woman,” Runner said. “I think that’s important.”

The event attracted a who’s-who of regional GOP leaders, including 33rd District Assemblyman Jay Obernolte and 36th District Assemblyman Tom Lackey.

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