California Republicans gather for biannual convention

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shakes hands with GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari in June 2014 in San Francisco.
(Eric Risberg / AP)

Hundreds of California Republican leaders and their guests gathered Friday in Sacramento for their biannual convention, with plans to celebrate their legislative victories in 2014 that blocked Democratic supermajorities in the Legislature and to hear from a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is exploring a White House bid, is scheduled to address the group at a luncheon Saturday. He appears at the gathering as his poll numbers have plummeted at home and when his viability as a presidential contender is being questioned because of a series of controversies over his pension policy, the “Bridgegate controversy,” lavish travel and the amount of time he spends outside New Jersey.

U.S. Rep. Mia Love of Utah, the first black female GOP member of Congress and a rising star in the party, will speak at a dinner Saturday night.


During the three-day conference, delegates will conduct party business, notably the election of leaders. Chairman Jim Brulte and Vice Chairman Harmeet Dhillon are expected to win reelection easily.

The evenings will be filled with such events as a “House of Cards” viewing party, national committeeman Shawn Steel’s poolside cigar social and a “Republican Women Wine Tasting.”

Assemblyman Rocky Chavez of Oceanside, who is considering a 2016 run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer, will court attendees at a Friday night reception.

Former state party Chairmen Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim, who are also weighing bids, plan to greet attendees over the weekend as well.

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