Two local Republican clubs have decided to join forces in an effort to strengthen their mission and engage conservative voters.
The La Cañada Flintridge Republican Club voted to merge with the Republican Club of the Foothills on Nov. 13.
The two long-standing clubs each have around 100 members, but the Republican Club of the Foothills has been more successful with securing popular speakers, such as columnist and talk show host Dennis Prager.
Phil Downs, the current president of the Republican Club of the Foothills, will retain his position.
He called the merger a positive move that will benefit the community. The club mainly serves members in La Crescenta, Montrose, Tujunga and Sunland.
“For the last two years, this conversation has been going on,” said Downs. “We’re really going to be more effective working together.”
Downs estimated that the number of Republicans and Democrats in the area is split in half. But he said many people in the area are unhappy with recent initiatives like President Obama’s healthcare law.
“There are a lot of disenchanted people,” said Downs. “It’s the direction our country is heading in that it is causing people to pay attention.”
He said that the 2014 election is likely to attract new members. Voters will elect a California governor next year.
The club doesn’t have an office space, but they hold meetings on the last Thursday of every month at the Thursday Club in La Cañada. Downs hopes that the club can retain that venue, as well as an office space.
Leonard Kenney, current board member on the La Cañada Flintridge Republican Club, said the decision to merge was strategic. “We wanted to be involved in a group that had more active volunteers.”
“I see it all as tremendously positive,” said Kenney. “They just really run a tight ship.”