Romney rolls out California leadership team

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, completing a campaigning and fundraising swing through California today, announced his leadership team for the Golden State.

Former governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian will serve as honorary statewide chairman, while the statewide chairs will be 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee and current HP CEO Meg Whitman; House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield; Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista; Rep. Mary Bono-Mack, R-Palm Springs; Rep Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita; congressional candidate and state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark; and 2010 GOP U.S. Senate nominee Carly Fiorina of Los Altos Hills. McCarthy’s and Fiorina’s endorsements were announced yesterday.

“It is an honor to have so much support from such distinguished leaders in California,” Romney said in a news release. “This is further proof that my pro-growth message is resonating with voters and that Californians want a conservative businessman to replace President Obama. I look forward to their counsel in my efforts to bring back jobs and restore fiscal sanity in Washington.”

Wilson said this election “is too important for our party to nominate a candidate without the real-world economic experience and proven track record that Mitt Romney has demonstrated throughout this campaign and throughout his life.”

“The members of his California Leadership Team have already been hard at work spreading his pro-growth message and working to ensure that President Obama is defeated in November,” Wilson added. “I am proud to be a part of this team and encourage my fellow Republicans to unite behind the one candidate we know can beat President Obama and create an economic climate that will bring jobs back to California.”

Romney did a campaign event yesterday morning in San Diego before holding fundraising events there and in Redwood City. Today, he’s doing fundraisers in Stockton, Irvine and Los Angeles, and will appear on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Five California polls conducted in the past seven weeks have shown Romney establishing a strong lead over his competitors Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

For additional Romney leadership team members, read on after the jump…

Statewide Co-Chairs
Rep. Brian Bilbray
Rep. Ken Calvert
Rep. John Campbell
Rep. Jeff Denham
Rep. Wally Herger
Rep. Jerry Lewis
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff
Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway
State Senator Sam Blakeslee
State Senator Bob Dutton
State Senator Sharon Runner
State Senator Mark Wyland
Assemblyman Paul Cook
Assemblyman Jim Silva
2002 GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Simon

Romney had announced his endorsement by the Legislature’s top Republicans earlier this morning.

“Mitt Romney is the only candidate who I trust to bring jobs back to California and improve our economy,” Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said in Romney’s news release. “Our country needs his economic experience, proven leadership, and bold plan to create jobs and shrink government. That is why so many Republicans in California support his campaign and why I am proud to endorse him.”

“After three years of failure from Washington, it is clear to me and many Californians that we need a change of direction in the White House,” said Conway, R-Tulare. “President Obama did not have any job-creation experience and it shows. Our country has not recovered like the President promised, and instead of seeing more job growth, we have only seen more and more debt. Mitt Romney spent his life in the private sector and knows what it will take to get our economy going.”

Statewide Steering Committee
State Senator Tom Berryhill
State Senator Anthony Cannella
State Senator Bill Emmerson
State Senator Jean Fuller
State Senator Ted Gaines
State Senator Tom Harman
State Senator Mimi Walters
Assemblyman Curt Hagman
Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen
Assemblyman Don Wagner
LA District Attorney Steve Cooley
Former Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • George Adams

    Romney – The liberals’ favorite GOP Candidate. Don’t vote for Romney. Please tell all your friends to vote, we need a big turnout.
    These are a few reasons why Romney is considered liberal:

    1) Romney created RomneyCare which ObamaCare is based on. Kennedy helped develop RomneyCare. Romney said he would repeal ObamaCare. Why would he if he supports RomneyCare, he is not telling the truth.

    2) Most decisions Romney made as Govenor was liberal, not conservative. So, what make you think he will be conservative all of a sudden?

    3) Romney lost to McCain by a landslide last GOP Primary, and McCain lost to Obama by a landslide. So, how is Romney going to win this time?

    4) When Obama wishes Romney well in the election and name calls and villianizes the other candidates, beware!

    5) Have you noticed the mass press and critics have shredded apart every GOP candidate except Romney? That is because they know Romney fits their agenda.

    Please, if you love the USA, vote for any GOP but Romney.

  • John W.

    “Please, if you love the USA, vote for any GOP but Romney.”

    “If you love the USA?” Oh, brother! Like who? Rick Perry, maybe?

    Trust me, I won’t vote for Romney. That said, you might have pointed out something else about ObamaCare being based on RomneyCare. As evidenced by this week’s Supreme Court arguments, the cornerstone of both RC and OC is the individual insurance mandate, which, in turn, makes possible Guaranteed Issue, Community Rating, and Exchanges to make the currently broken for-profit individual insurance market function more like the employer-based Group insurance system.

    Neither RC nor OC invented the insurance mandate concept. That was developed by the conservative Heritage Foundation in response to HillaryCare and as a way to reform the health insurance market in a free market framework based on personal responsibility. It was supported by conservatives and Republicans. It was supported by Newt as recently as 2011. As recently as 2008, RomneyCare and it’s insurance mandate were held up by Republicans as an example of a free market solution to health care. At the beginning of the health care reform discussions in Congress in 2009 (hundreds of hours of which were live on C-SPAN, contrary to Republican claims that it was all done in back rooms), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) advocated the mandate. Then, Republicans decided to disengage and oppose health care reform and everything else Obama, at which point Chuck Grassley and others started talking about “Death Panels” and getting retired folks fired up to say “Keep government hands off my Medicare.”

    So, if you’re going to vote for some GOP candidate other than Romney because of RC and OC, just remember that leading conservatives developed the foundation for both.

  • Elwood

    I was brokenhearted when Herman and Michelle left the race!

  • John W.

    Ricky stepped up to the plate to keep us entertained in their place. But it doesn’t look like this show will stretch out long enough to make the June primary in CA relevant. Darn!

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    The Grand Old Party keeps messing up. Every time Mitt or Newt tries to talk about taxes or deficits, the Demo-mob wheels out some middle-aged gal missing three limbs, numerous teeth, and part of her sight and hearing, who exclaims before a packed auditorium “I don’t know where I’d be without my Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security.” Tears flow as the Prez exclaims “They want to take away ” your hard-earned benefits. Yes, vote in more Repubs and our great cities will soon resemble Paris before the Revolution or the countryside during the Dust Bowl years.

  • John W.

    Regardless of who wins in November, the post-election period between the the election and January should be a doozy. We’ll be up against the debt ceiling again, the automatic spending cuts for both defense and other discretionary, and expiration of the Bush tax cuts that were originally scheduled to expire at the end of 2010.