Local students head to state GOP convention

UCSB and SBCC students will help shape GOP new direction

POSTED: 05:23 PM PST Feb 26, 2013    UPDATED: 09:02 PM PST Feb 26, 2013 
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

 The California Republican party is hoping to change its image.  The state GOP will host its annual convention in Sacramento this weekend.

What party officials expect to see are more young faces.  Among them -- dozens of local students.

The party suffered a massive defeat in November -- not only losing the white house -- but also the majority in the state legislative races.

The GOP now accounts for less than 30 percent of all registered voters.  Which is why many believe its time for a new direction.

About two dozen University of California, Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College students will be boarding a bus Friday and heading to Sacramento for this year's convention, including delegate Brock Lynch.

"In order to gain a broader voter base with youth, with minorities there needs to be a change.  That's why I serve on the committee, that's why I'm a delegate," he says.

Gregory Gandrud, the Central Coast's GOP vice chairman says he welcomes change,  "I think a lot of young people are re-thinking the role of government and which party stands for what."

During this weekend's convention, delegates will be choosing a new slate of party officers.  They are expected to elect Jim Brulte as their new chairman.  Many see him as a political moderate.  His plan is to focus on what he calls the GOP's core values -- "smaller government, less taxes, greater parental control and more local control."

The California GOP convention kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday.

The state Democratic national convention will be held in Sacramento in  April.