47. Jim Brulte
Jim Brulte is an ebullient, savvy and experienced politician with a problem. As chairman of the California Republican Party, he is familiar with the statistics: February registration figures from the Secretary of State show the Democrats had about 8.7 million registered voters – 44.8 percent of those registered — and Brulte’s Republicans lag badly with a scootch over 5 million. Rounding upward, that’s 26 percent. The state GOP is barely ahead of “No Party Preference,” which stands at 24.5 percent. And then there’s the California Republicans’ problem of What Do We Do About Trump? Undeterred, Brulte is right now laying plans to defend seven Republican-held House seats in Democratic crosshairs. And he’s getting Republicans elected to local offices with hopes of moving them up in the coming years. If anyone can engineer a Republican renaissance, it will be Brulte – a former GOP leader in both the Assembly and Senate, and in our humble opinion, one of the smartest folks in the GOP.
Updated Aug. 29, 2017