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Gov't Shutdown Casts Shadow Over Calif. GOP Convention

ANAHEIM ( — A three-day convention in Anaheim held by the California Republican Party kicked off Friday even as lawmakers in Washington appeared to be at a stalemate over the partial shutdown of the federal government.

The GOP's Rebuilding from the Ground Up theme will focus on reshaping the state party with outreaches to Republican female voters, ensuring just and fair elections and "building persuasive messaging," according to California Republican Party spokesman Mark Standriff.

More than 1,600 party leaders and activists were expected to descend upon the Hilton Anaheim for appearances by GOP luminaries including potential 2016 presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day.

Jim Brulte, the new chairman of the California Republican Party, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the federal shutdown has had little impact on the convention.

Jim Brulte

"Frankly, I've been spending the last four-and-a-half days trying to get ready for 1,600 delegates who are converging on Southern California for a convention, so I haven't been paying much attention to that," Brulte said.

At least one attendee, Rep. Greg Walden, (R-Ore.), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, canceled plans to attend the convention because of the ongoing budget discussions in Washington. Walden is tentatively scheduled to speak on Saturday via a video feed from Washington, according to Standriff.

The number of voters in California who are registered Republicans has dropped to below 30 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported. No Republican in California currently holds any statewide office.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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