|Chairperson||Jessica Millan Patterson|
|Senate Leader||Brian Jones|
|Assembly Leader||James Gallagher|
|Founder||John C. Frémont|
|Youth wing||California College Republicans|
|National affiliation||Republican Party|
|US Senate Seats|
0 / 2
|US House Seats|
12 / 52
|Statewide Executive Offices|
0 / 8
8 / 40
18 / 80
The California Republican Party (CAGOP) is the affiliate of the United States Republican Party in the U.S. state of California. The party is based in Sacramento and is led by chair Jessica Millan Patterson.
As of October 2020, Republicans represent approximately 24% of the state's registered voters, placing the party far behind the California Democratic Party which has 46% of registered voters. The party is a minority in the California State Legislature, holding only 18 seats out of 80 in the California State Assembly and 8 seats out of 40 in the California State Senate. The party holds none of the eight statewide executive branch offices, 12 of the state's 52 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives delegation, and neither of California's seats in the U.S. Senate.
The Republican Party was born in the 1850s as a primary vehicle to oppose the expansion of slavery in the United States. In 1856, Republicans nominated one of California's inaugural senators, John C. Frémont, for the 1856 presidential election, but he lost the state by a wide margin to Democrat and eventual winner James Buchanan, though he did win the state of New York. Later in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency as the first Republican president. The Republican Party would emerge as primary opposition to the Democratic Party until the present day.
California Republicans and Democrats were competitive throughout the late 19th century. In 1878, Republican California Senator Aaron A. Sargent introduced the language that would become the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which would allow women the right to vote.
Republicans dominated state politics for most of the 20th century (they controlled the state senate from 1891 to 1958) until the 1960s when the Democrats once again became competitive with the rightward shift of the Republican Party, exemplified by their nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964 (Goldwater lost California in a landslide). Republicans still saw ample success up until the 1990s. George H. W. Bush carried the state in 1988 after Ronald Reagan twice carried the state in 1984 and 1980. Pete Wilson was elected Senator in 1988, and John Seymour was the last Republican Senator from California after being appointed to the seat in 1991.
California's Latino and Asian populations grew significantly in the 1990s and the growing segment of voters were turned off by the Republican Party's hard-line stance on immigration (the Party closely tied itself to Proposition 187). Democrats have won most elections at the state, local, and federal levels since the 2000s by comfortable margins. For example, despite failing to win the presidency, Hillary Clinton won a higher percentage of votes than any candidate since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Still, California elected Arnold Schwarzenegger twice for governor. Schwarzenegger and Steve Poizner, who later became an independent, are the last Republicans to win statewide elections in California.
California has two Republican presidents in U.S. history: Richard Nixon, who was a U.S. representative and senator from California, and Ronald Reagan, who was a governor of California (1967–1975). Herbert Hoover also studied in California and lived there for a number of years. Other notable California Republicans include former Governor and Chief Justice Earl Warren, former Governor and Senator Hiram Johnson, and former Senator and founder of Stanford University Leland Stanford.
The following is a list of Republican statewide, federal, and legislative officeholders:
Members of Congress
Both of California's U.S. Senate seats have been held by Democrats since 1992. John F. Seymour is the last Republican to have represented California in the U.S. Senate. Appointed in 1991 by Pete Wilson who resigned his Class I Senate seat because he was elected governor in 1990, Seymour lost the 1992 special election to determine who would serve the remainder of the term expiring in 1995. Seymour lost the special election to Democratic challenger Dianne Feinstein, who was subsequently elected to a full term two years later and has held the seat since. Pete Wilson is the last Republican to have won an election to represent California in the U.S. Senate, when he won in 1988. He is also the last Republican to represent California for a full term in the U.S. Senate from 1983 to 1989.
With the passage of Prop 14 in 2010 setting up a jungle primary system in California, there was a period of 10 years (2012 – 2022) in which no Republican made the general election for the US Senate, as Republicans were locked out from the general elections in both the 2016 election and the 2018 election.
U.S. House of Representatives
Out of the 52 seats California is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives, 12 are held by Republicans:
California has not had a Republican in a state-wide elected office since January 2011. Republicans were last elected to a statewide office in 2006, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-elected as governor and Steve Poizner was elected insurance commissioner. In 2010, term limits prevented Schwarzenegger from seeking a third term while Poizner chose not to seek re-election as insurance commissioner, instead making an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for governor. In 2018, Poizner attempted to run again for his old seat of insurance commissioner, but did so without the affiliation to the Republican Party.
The last Republican to serve as lieutenant governor was Abel Maldonado, who was appointed in 2010 by Schwarzenegger to fill the vacancy when John Garamendi resigned to take a seat in Congress. Maldonado lost his election in 2010 for a full term, and left office in January 2011. The last Republican elected to the position was Mike Curb, who was elected in 1978 and served until January 1983.
The last Republican to serve as Secretary of State was Bruce McPherson who was appointed to the position in 2005 when the previous Secretary of State, Kevin Shelley, resigned. McPherson lost the election for a full term in 2006 and left office in January 2007. The last Republican elected to the position was Bill Jones who was elected in 1994 and reelected in 1998.
The last Republican to serve as State treasurer was Matt Fong who was elected in 1994 and served until January 1999. Fong chose not to run for re-election in 1998, choosing instead to run unsuccessfully for the US Senate.
The last Republican to serve as the Superintendent of Public Instruction (which is officially a non-partisan position) is Max Rafferty, who was elected in 1962, reelected in 1966, and served until January 1971.
Board of Equalization, State Senate and Assembly
Board of Equalization
- 1st District: Ted Gaines
- AD-1: Megan Dahle
- AD-3: James Gallagher (Minority Leader)
- AD-5: Joe Patterson
- AD-7: Josh Hoover
- AD-8: Jim Patterson
- AD-9: Heath Flora
- AD-22: Juan Alanis
- AD-32: Vince Fong
- AD-33: Devon Mathis
- AD-34: Tom Lackey
- AD-47: Greg Wallis
- AD-59: Phillip Chen
- AD-63: Bill Essayli
- AD-70: Tri Ta
- AD-71: Kate Sanchez
- AD-72: Diane Dixon
- AD-74: Laurie Davies
- AD-75: Marie Waldron
Of California's ten largest cities, two have Republican mayors as of July 2022:
Rules for presidential primary elections
How delegates are awarded
As of the 2024 Republican National Convention, the California Republican Party gets to send 169 delegates to the quadannual Presidential nominating convention, the most of any state party. From the 2004 presidential primary until the 2020 presidential primary, the California Republican Party awarded 3 delegates to the winner of the primary within each one of the state's congressional districts, with the balance (about a dozen delegates) awarded proportionally based on the statewide result.
Ahead of the 2024 National Convention, the state party changed its rules for awarding delegates in order to comply with the rules of the national party (failure to do so would have resulted in a cut of 50% to the number of delegates the state party gets to send to the national convention). Under the new system, delegates are awarded based on the statewide results, rather than results within the individual districts. At the urging of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, the rules were also changed that if a candidate receives more than 50% of the primary votes, the candidate gets 100% of the state's 169 allotted delegates. If no candidate gets 50% of the primary vote, then delegates are awarded proportionally.
Who can participate in the primary
Since the passage of Proposition 14 in 2010, all of California's primaries, with the expection of primaries for President of the United States, are jungle primaries in which candidates from different parties compete in the same primary. For President of the United States, California has a closed primary system in which the different parties have separate primaries, and only voters registered with the party can vote in the party's primary. California allows the parties to select whether to allow voters who are not affilitated with any party to vote in their party's primary. The California Republican Party does not allow voters not affilitated with any party to vote in the Republican presidential primary.
The California Republican Party is a "political party that has detailed statutory provisions applicable to its operation", which are in division 7, part 3 of the California Elections Code. The Republican State Central Committee (RSCC), the governing body of the California Republican Party, functions pursuant to its standing rules and bylaws. The RSCC works together with the Republican county central committees and district central committees, with county central committees appointing delegates to the RSCC. The regular officers of the RSCC are the chairman, state vice chairman, eight regional vice chairmen, secretary, and treasurer.
County central committees
There are semi-autonomous county central committees for each of California's 58 counties. At every direct primary election (presidential primary) or when district boundaries are redrawn, their members are either elected by supervisor district or Assembly district depending on the county.
|County party||Elected members|
|Republican Party of Los Angeles County||Assembly district committee members elected at the direct primary elections.|
|Republican Party of San Diego County||Six regular members elected from each Assembly district in the county.|
|Republican Party of Orange County||Six members elected from each Assembly district.|
This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2019)
- Frank F. Merriam (1928–30)
- Marshal Hale (1930–34)
- Louis B. Mayer (1932–33)
- Earl Warren (1934–36)
- Justus Craemer (1936–38)
- Bradford Melvin (1938–40)
- Thomas Kuchel (1940–42)
- Edward Tickle (1942–44)
- Leo Anderson (1944–46)
- Arthur W. Carlson (1946–48)
- Sim Delapp (1948–50)
- Laughlin Waters (1950–54)
- Thomas W. Caldecott (1954–56)
- Alphonzo E. Bell, Jr. (1956–58)
- George W. Milias (1958–60)
- John Krehbiel (1960–62)
- Caspar Weinberger (1962–64)
- Gaylord Parkinson (1964–67)
- James Halley (1967–69)
- Dennis Carpenter (1969–71)
- Putnam Livermore (1971–73)
- Gordon Luce (1973–75)
- Paul Haerle (1975–77)
- Michael B. Montgomery (1977–79)
- Truman Campbell (1979–81)
- Tirso del Junco (1981–83)
- Ed Reinecke (1983–85)
- Mike Antonovich (1985–87)
- Bob Naylor (1987–89)
- Frank Visco (1989–91)
- Jim Dignan (1991–93)
- Tirso del Junco (1993–95)
- John Herrington (1995–97)
- Michael J. Schroeder (1997–99)
- John McGraw (1999–2001)
- Shawn Steel (2001–03)
- George "Duf" Sundheim (2003–07)
- Ron Nehring (2007–11)
- Tom Del Beccaro (2011–13)
- Jim Brulte (2013–19)
- Jessica Millan Patterson (since 2019)
|Election||Presidential Ticket||Votes||Vote %||Electoral votes||Result[a]|
|1856||John C. Frémont/William L. Dayton||20,704||18.78%||
0 / 4
|1860||Abraham Lincoln/Hannibal Hamlin||38,733||32.32%||
4 / 4
|1864||Abraham Lincoln/Andrew Johnson||62,053||58.60%||
5 / 5
|1868||Ulysses S. Grant/Schuyler Colfax||54,588||50.24%||
5 / 5
|1872||Ulysses S. Grant/Henry Wilson||54,007||56.38%||
6 / 6
|1876||Rutherford B. Hayes/William A. Wheeler||79,258||50.88%||
6 / 6
|1880||James A. Garfield/Chester A. Arthur||80,282||48.89%||
1 / 6
|1884||James G. Blaine/John A. Logan||102,369||51.97%||
8 / 8
|1888||Benjamin Harrison/Levi P. Morton||124,816||49.66%||
8 / 8
|1892||Benjamin Harrison/Whitelaw Reid||118,027||43.78%||
1 / 9
|1896||William McKinley/Garret Hobart||146,688||49.16%||
8 / 9
|1900||William McKinley/Theodore Roosevelt||164,755||54.50%||
9 / 9
|1904||Theodore Roosevelt/Charles W. Fairbanks||205,226||61.84%||
10 / 10
|1908||William Howard Taft/James S. Sherman||214,398||55.46%||
10 / 10
|1912||State party ran Theodore Roosevelt/Hiram Johnson (Progressive)||283,610||41.83%||
11 / 13
|1916||Charles E. Hughes/Charles W. Fairbanks||462,516||46.27%||
0 / 13
|1920||Warren G. Harding/Calvin Coolidge||624,992||66.20%||
13 / 13
|1924||Calvin Coolidge/Charles G. Dawes||733,250||57.20%||
13 / 13
|1928||Herbert Hoover/Charles Curtis||1,162,323||64.69%||
13 / 13
|1932||Herbert Hoover/Charles Curtis||847,902||37.39%||
0 / 22
|1936||Alf Landon/Frank Knox||1,766,836||66.95%||
0 / 22
|1940||Wendell Willkie/Charles L. McNary||1,877,618||57.44%||
0 / 22
|1944||Thomas E. Dewey/John W. Bricker||1,988,564||56.48%||
0 / 25
|1948||Thomas E. Dewey/Earl Warren||1,913,134||47.57%||
0 / 25
|1952||Dwight D. Eisenhower/Richard Nixon||3,035,587||56.83%||
32 / 32
|1956||Dwight D. Eisenhower/Richard Nixon||3,027,668||55.39%||
32 / 32
|1960||Richard Nixon/Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.||3,259,722||50.10%||
32 / 32
|1964||Barry Goldwater/William E. Miller||2,879,108||40.79%||
0 / 40
|1968||Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew||3,467,664||47.82%||
40 / 40
|1972||Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew||4,602,096||55.00%||
45 / 45
|1976||Gerald Ford/Bob Dole||3,882,244||49.35%||
45 / 45
|1980||Ronald Reagan/George H. W. Bush||4,524,858||52.69%||
45 / 45
|1984||Ronald Reagan/George H. W. Bush||5,467,009||57.51%||
47 / 47
|1988||George H. W. Bush/Dan Quayle||5,054,917||51.13%||
47 / 47
|1992||George H. W. Bush/Dan Quayle||3,630,574||32.61%||
0 / 54
|1996||Bob Dole/Jack Kemp||3,828,380||38.21%||
0 / 54
|2000||George W. Bush/Dick Cheney||4,567,429||41.65%||
0 / 54
|2004||George W. Bush/Dick Cheney||5,509,826||44.36%||
0 / 55
|2008||John McCain/Sarah Palin||5,011,781||36.95%||
0 / 55
|2012||Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan||4,839,958||37.12%||
0 / 55
|2016||Donald Trump/Mike Pence||4,483,810||31.62%||
0 / 55
|2020||Donald Trump/Mike Pence||6,006,429||34.32%||
0 / 55
|Election||Gubernatorial candidate||Votes||Vote %||Result|
|1857||Edward Stanly||21,040||22.46%||Lost N|
|1859||Leland Stanford||10,110||9.84%||Lost N|
|1867||George Congdon Gorham||40,359||43.71%||Lost N|
|1875||Timothy Guy Phelps||31,322||25.48%||Lost N|
|1879||George Clement Perkins||67,965||42.42%||Won|
|1882||Morris M. Estee||67,175||40.79%||Lost N|
|1886||John Franklin Swift||84,316||43.10%||Lost N|
|1894||Morris M. Estee||110,738||38.92%||Lost N|
|1914||John D. Fredericks||271,990||29.35%||Lost N|
|1926||C. C. Young||814,815||71.22%||Won|
|1930||James Rolph Jr.||999,393||72.22%||Won|
|1938||Frank Merriam||1,171,019||44.17%||Lost N|
|1958||William Knowland||2,110,911||40.16%||Lost N|
|1962||Richard Nixon||2,740,351||46.87%||Lost N|
|1974||Houston Flournoy||2,952,954||47.25%||Lost N|
|1978||Evelle Younger||2,526,534||36.50%||Lost N|
|1998||Dan Lungren||3,218,030||38.38%||Lost N|
|2002||Bill Simon||3,169,801||42.40%||Lost N|
|2003 (recall)||Arnold Schwarzenegger (best-performing)||4,206,284||48.6%||Won|
|2010||Meg Whitman||4,127,391||40.9%||Lost N|
|2014||Neel Kashkari||2,929,213||40.03%||Lost N|
|2018||John H. Cox||4,742,825||38.05%||Lost N|
|2021 (recall)||Larry Elder (best-performing)||3,563,867||48.4%||Recall failed|
|2022||Brian Dahle||4,462,914||40.8%||Lost N|
- California State Assembly Republican Caucus
- Pasadena Republican Club, the oldest continuously active Republican club in America
- Result of the national electoral vote count
- "Report of Registration: Odd-numbererd year report" (PDF). California Secretary of State.
- "Beleaguered California Republicans Vote Jessica Patterson New Party Chair". Sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. February 24, 2019.
- "California Secretary of State Report of Registration as of October 19, 2020" (PDF). Elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
- "About CA GOP".
- Krishnakumar, Priya; Arm; Emamdjomeh; Moore, Maloy. "After decades of Republican victories, here's how California became a blue state again". www.latimes.com. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
- "Republicans slip to 3rd place, behind independents, as registration choice of Californians", San Francisco Chronicle, June 1, 2018
- Siders, David (November 28, 2020). "GOP finds silver lining in Trump's landslide California loss". Politico.
- "Board Members". Boe.ca.gov.
- "Members | Assembly Internet". Assembly.ca.gov.
- "Mayor | City of Fresno". Fresno.gov.
- "City of Bakersfield - Mayor". Bakersfieldcity.us.
- Mehta, Seema (May 11, 2023). "GOP voters in liberal bastions could have outsize role in California's presidential primary". Los Angeles Times.
- Mehta, Seema (July 29, 2023). "Tensions flare as California GOP gives Trump a boost by overhauling state primary rules". Los Angeles Times.
- "Voting In California's Primary When You Have No Party Preference Gets Complicated". NPR. February 23, 2020.
- Eu v. San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee (1989), 489 U.S. 214 Archived 2014-03-12 at the Wayback Machine. "The State of California heavily regulates its political parties. … The California Elections Code (Code) provides that the 'official governing bodies' for such a party are its 'state convention,' 'state central committee,' and 'county central committees,' …"
- California Elections Code § 7250
- California Elections Code § 7350
- Standing Rules and Bylaws of the California Republican Party Archived 2014-03-12 at the Wayback Machine, As Amended 6 October 2013.
- Bylaws § 1.03
- Bylaws § 2.01.01(B)
- Bylaws § 2.03.01(A)
- California Elections Code § 7420
- California Elections Code division 7, part 3, chapter 4, article 1, §§ 7400 et seq.
- Bylaws of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, as amended December 15, 2012, § 2(a)
- Bylaws of the Republican Party of San Diego County Archived 2012-06-10 at the Wayback Machine, § 2.01.01(A)(1)
- Bylaws of the Republican Party of Orange County Archived 2014-04-11 at the Wayback Machine, As Amended May 20, 2013, Article IV(A)
- California Elections Code § 7401