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Battered California Republicans Find Hope in a Long Shot

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POLITICS - Kevin L. James, a conservative talk show host running for mayor of Los Angeles, was sitting in his campaign office recently pondering which was his bigger obstacle to victory: being openly Republican, or being openly gay. 

“Depending on what room you’re in here, sometimes it’s easier coming out gay to Republicans than it is coming out Republican to gays,” he said. 

By any measure, Mr. James, 49, is a bit of a long shot. He is a Republican brassy former prosecutor running in a Democratic city at a time when California is marching steadily to the left, making his first bid for office in a field of establishment candidates. 

 

Yet in the first major election since President Obama’s victory in November — voting that relegated the California Republican Party to the margins — Mr. James has become, at least for a few national Republicans, something of a lifeline. They see in his candidacy in the March 5 vote an outside chance to grab what could be a spirit-lifting victory, and perhaps even signal a way to get back in the game in California. 

Fred Davis, a Republican ad producer based in the Hollywood Hills who worked for the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, created a political action committee to finance an advertising campaign to help Mr. James compete with his better-financed competitors. Mr. Davis was looking to raise $4 million from Republicans across the nation; he has since scaled back that goal a bit (he had raised $700,000 as of Friday). 

And Mr. James has retained John Weaver, a Republican political consultant who has long advised Mr. McCain, as his senior political adviser. Mr. Weaver has increasingly warned that Republicans are marginalizing themselves by moving to the right on issues like abortion, gay rights and immigration.  (Read the rest … including why Davis says candidate James is ‘from central casting’ … here

-cw

 

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 11

 Pub: Feb 5, 2013

 

 

 

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