2014-03-14T234421Z_1_CBREA2D1TY000_RTROPTP_2_USA-CAMPAIGN

California Republicans tackle image and appeal at state convention

Former U.S. Secretary of State Rice addresses the third session of Republican National Convention in TampaBy Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – California Republicans kicked off their annual convention on Friday with an ambitious agenda aimed at remaking the party and a promise to reclaim the once red but now blue state dominated by Democrats. The convention in San Francisco’s Burlingame suburb began after months of strategizing and fund-raising led by former Republican state senate leader Jim Brulte. “The party was a million dollars in debt, we had no real decent donor list … we had closed down our Sacramento office … and the Burbank office was in disrepair,” said spokesman Mark Standriff, a former employee of the state Republican party who was re-hired to help rebuild. “We want to get the party back to what it should have been over the past few years.” About 1,000 delegates and guests were expected to attend the weekend convention, where former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and national Republican chairman Reince Priebus will speak.

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