There’s a new boss at the Republican Party of Orange County – a lawyer and Orange City Councilman named Fred Whitaker. He is replacing Scott Baugh, the former State Assemblyman and lobbyist who has opted to step down as the leader of the OC GOP after 11 years.
Whitaker is more of a team player than Baugh but he is not nearly as charismatic. It worries me that he is friendly with the Curt Pringle faction of the OC GOP and he is allied with the disgraceful Republican blogger Matt Cunningham.
Make no mistake about it – there might be a new boss at the helm of the OC GOP but this remains the party of the lobbyists.
Other OC GOP officials who were selected tonight by the OC GOP Central Committee include:
- 1st Vice Chairman John Warner
- 2nd Vice Chairwoman Mary Young
- Secretary Peggy Huang
- Treasurer Jeff Lalloway
- Assistant Treasurer TJ Fuentes
- Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Whitacre
- Parliamentarian (Appointed Position) Kermit Marsh
You would think the party would have selected more Asians for their Executive Committee after their success in November, when Young Kim and Ling Ling Chang won State Assembly Seats and Janet Nguyen won in the 34th State Senate District (plus Michelle Steel and Lisa Bartlett, who are also Asians, won seats on the OC Board of Supervisors).
Whitaker “was chairman of the College Republicans at UC Berkeley, where he earned dual degrees in political science and history. Then he was chairman of the California College Republicans, where he began his ongoing friendship with Ed Royce, now a congressman from Fullerton, and with John Lewis, a political consultant and former state senator for Orange County,” according to the O.C. Register.
Lewis, like Pringle, is a lobbyist.
Whitaker was not challenged tonight. He was coronated. Now let’s see if he can make a difference for the local Republicans. They might have won in November (and their victories included the ouster of a bunch of liberal City Council Members in Irvine and in Huntington Beach) but in 2016 the Republicans will have their hands full with presumed Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. And the ongoing demographic changes in Orange County do not favor the GOP.