Former California legislator Jim Brulte on the verge of becoming the State Republican Party’s next chair, Mar. 2, California Republican Convention in Sacramento. PHOTO/Shane Bond

CAGOP CONVENTION | Former California legislator Jim Brulte was nominated to lead the struggling state party Saturday evening with an eye on improving relations with Latino groups to aid in its comeback. The garrulous Brulte asked members of Republican National Hispanic Assembly, a group he once led three decades ago, for their vote.

Brulte acknowledged the party’s neglect of the fast-growing Latino electorate saying, “There are entire communities in our state where no one has been able to hear our message because we have not shown up.” As chair, Brulte said he focus on highlighting the party’s bench of minority candidates. The media would have you believe everybody in our party looks like me. It’s not true,” he said, before adding, “In some cases, the messenger is as important as the message.”

The California Republican Party’s disarray also goes farther than not capitalizing on the Latino demographic. Mitt Romney lost by 23 points in California during the last presidential election and House Republicans lost half of their seats last time around in the Golden State. Brulte, however, says, “We can pick up some of the seats lost. “ To further matters, both houses of the State Legislature are at or near supermajorities. Brulte hopes to end the Democrats stranglehold on either house while maintaining the opposition party is far left. “The future of California will be written by people who don’t understand what it takes to grow jobs and to build a strong economy.”

“This is going to sound crazy. Some of you might laugh if it weren’t’ tragic. Jerry Brown is actually the most conservative elected Democrat across the street,” said Brulte. “In what universe should that ever be the case?”