The effort seeks to improve the party’s appeal among Latinos in California and 16 other states. Unlike previous campaigns tied to election seasons, this one will be ongoing, officials say.

By Seema Mehta
October 10, 2013, 10:37 p.m.

Republicans striving to mend relations with the Latino voters who have largely shunned their party announced a $10-million initiative Thursday to make electoral inroads among this crucial group across the nation.

Engaging Latino voters has been a constant effort for Republicans in recent years, as the population has grown to the point it can tilt races in critical states. But party leaders say the new initiative, which will include a paid staff and year-round voter targeting in California and 16 other states, is more meaningful than past attempts.

“What’s different about our effort this time is we’re starting early, not just six months before an election, and we’re going to stay even after the election is over,” Jennifer Sevilla Korn, the Republican National Committee’s deputy political director for Hispanic initiatives, said at a luncheon in Santa Ana.

As scores of GOP activists and politicians, including former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, dined on roast beef and cheese enchiladas, Korn said, “This doesn’t end with one candidate or one campaign. We’re building a permanent grass-roots infrastructure that will expand every year.”

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