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California Republicans strategize in San Diego

Jessica patterson jf.jpg
Posted at 3:57 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 20:12:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Chula Vista resident Cheryl Perez wears her silver Trump pin everywhere. She'd like to see the former president run again in 2024.

"I think he will run," she said. "I think he's going to come back to save this country."

Whether Trump would save the country, or whether the county needs to be saved from him is a matter of vehement debate.

But on Friday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the focus for California Republicans on the first day of their convention was next year's midterm elections, not 2024.

"I think the Republican messaging needs to get better," said Perez, a GOP delegate. "I think we need to do better at outreach, and I think people need to understand us more."

Getting that messaging right ahead of next year is a key goal this weekend for Republicans, fresh off a lopsided defeat in the gubernatorial recall.

Jessica Patterson, the chair of the state GOP, said the party is eyeing flipping the U.S. House of Representatives and several California legislative seats, pointing to five state victories in 2020.

"We are going to continue to take the fight to Democrats, and continuing to do the work that is necessary to help our candidates win elections," she said in remarks at luncheon.

But that won't be easy in blue California, where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one in the latest registration data.

"I think the best way to be successful is make sure you are running the right candidates who are connecting to the districts, who are speaking to the issues that matter in their districts," said Ellie Hockenbury, the party's communications director. "That's how we were successful in 2020. That's how we're going to be successful in 2022."

Notable speakers this weekend include New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Texas Congressman Ronny Jackson.