PALM DESERT - Former California Republican Party Chairman and Lt. Governor candidate Ron Nehring this evening told a gathering of Palm Desert Republicans that GOP victories in regions like the heavily Latino Coachella Valley are critical to the party's statewide success.
"Republicans need to be the party of bold reform in California. There's no other way to building a majority in this state. We can't rely on partisanship. We have to rely on connecting with people on issues where we have common ground and the Democrats have wandered off," said Nehring, who during his term as state GOP leader frequently campaigned in the Coachella Valley for candidates such as former Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and in 2007 brought the first state Republican to the region in almost a decade.
On the opportunities to build issues-based coalitions, Nehring cited the example of drug legalization, supported by incumbent Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) but opposed by Latinos by nearly two-to-one according to a September 2013 PPIC poll.
"The Latino community is way ahead of the curve on this," said Nehring, who addressed the Sun City Palm Desert Republican Club. "The Democrats and Gavin Newsom are embracing drug legalization, writing it into their platform. They're not listening to the overwhelming majority of California Latinos. When it comes to drugs, the Latino community is right, and California Democrats like Gavin Newsom are wrong."
Nehring cited how much the state has changed since Ronald Reagan's Presidential Victory in 1980. "California's Latino population has doubled, and our Asian population has nearly tripled. No party has a majority in California. The future belongs to the candidates who can connect with voters on issues that voters deem important and build a winning statewide majority," he said. "That's the lesson of our victory in the San Diego mayor's race, where the Republican candidate of reform defeated the candidate of organized labor in a city where the GOP is third in voter registration and despite being outspent by more than $1 million."