For Republicans used to watching their party's long slide in California, a recent luncheon at a Torrance hotel offered up a serving of hope.
The three featured speakers were Republicans who had done the unexpected: finish first in primaries in deep-blue Los Angeles County. Two of the June 3 open primary victories came in Democratic districts and the other in a head-to-head contest with a Democratic incumbent in a swing district.
"These are exciting times for us," Bob Holmes, chairman of the South Bay Chapter of Lincoln Clubs, said at the event.
Despite the candidates' primary showings, however, politics watchers give long odds to Downey Councilman Mario A....