Shawn Steel

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Shawn Steel
ShawnSteelPortrait main.jpg
Chairman of the California Republican Party
In office
Preceded by John McGraw
Succeeded by Duf Sundheim
Personal details
Born Shawn Steel
c. 1946
California, U.S.
Alma mater California State University, Northridge
Northrop University
University of Southern California
Occupation Lawyer

Shawn Steel (born c. 1946) is the Republican National Committeeman from California.[1] Elected in 2008, he will serve a four-year term. Steel challenged the Treasurer of the RNC and won at the California Republican Party state convention with a 61 to 39% vote with over 1200 ballots cast. Steel also was the first RNC member to formally endorse, former Lt. Governor Michael Steele, who was elected as Chairman of the Republican National Committee in February 2009.

He is a past chairman of the California Republican Party (GOP) and founding director of the California chapter of the interest group, the Club for Growth. He was the cofounder of the successful 2003 campaign to recall Democratic Governor of California Gray Davis. An attorney from Palos Verdes, Steel has also written articles published in every major newspaper in his state and in several national newspapers.

Early life[edit]

Steel graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1964 growing up in the San Fernando Valley. Steel's lifetime of conservative political activism began in 1964 as a leader in the San Fernando Valley Youth for Goldwater [YFG]. YFG was a youth group supporting Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona for the U.S. presidency. After the Goldwater defeat he helped form numerous chapters of Young Americans for Freedom [YAF] in the Los Angeles region in 1965. In 1966, Steel was statewide chairman of Youth for Reagan, for high school students, Ronald Reagan for governor of California. In 1967, Steel became state chairman of California YAF, leading opposition against left wing student groups on college campuses.


Steel received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with California state teaching credentials, from California State University, Northridge, his Master of Arts from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and his Juris Doctor from Northrop Law School.

California Republican Party[edit]

Shawn Steel, was elected Treasurer of the California Republican Party in 1995 and served 2 two year terms. In 1999 he won a hotly contested election for the CRP's Vice Chair position against the grandson of Leonard Firestone, the rubber baron founder. In 2001 in a rematch, former Assemblyman Brooks Firestone challenged Steel for the CRP's chairman's position. This was considered a classic moderate vs conservative struggle. Steel prevailed. Seven years later Steel challenged the sitting Treasurer of the Republican National Committee [RNC] Tim Morgan.On February 24, 2008. He won against incumbent Tim Morgan, 590-380 reflecting a major triumph for Steel.

As California Republican Party Chairman, Steel was a co-founder of the Recall Davis movement. Along with Ted Costa, of Peoples Advocate, they were responsible for organizing the historic recall campaign against Governor Davis. The success of the Recall paved the way for Arnold Schwarzenegger's election as governor. His was the first signature on the recall petition. Steel and Ted Costa served Governor Davis with the Notice of Recall Petition.

As Chairman Steel was criticized by senior California Republican leaders as well as national leaders. Corporate raider Gerry Parsky, and President George W. Bush's unofficial representative in California questioned the strategy of recalling Gray Davis. Some party leaders objected to Steel's efforts to unseat Davis, fearing it was too risky. Steel at the CRP convention in February 2003 convinced an overwhelming majority to endorse the Recall, thus turning the tide for the recallcampaign.[2] Shawn Steel's leadership and conservative principles helped spearhead the recall of a sitting California Governor (Gray Davis) from Office.

California Club for Growth[edit]

In 2004, Steel and former California State Assemblyman Tony Strickland formed the California Club for Growth, which is designed to promote free market Republican candidates.

Public service[edit]

Steel teaches Ethics and Jurisprudence at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles. He also is a regular lecturer at Palmer College Of Chiropractic West [San Jose] and Southern California University of Health Services [Whittier]

Steel was appointed by Republican Governor Pete Wilson to the California State Acupuncture Board. He was appointed in 1995 and served until 2000. Steel was elected by his peers as Chairman of the Acupuncture Board for two one-year terms.

Private life[edit]

Steel has been married since 1981 to Michelle Park (born ca. 1955), a member of the California State Board of Equalization. He has two children, Cheyenne Park Steel and Siobhan Cheong Steel and resides in Seal Beach, California.