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In Hollywood, Republicans seek voters who have shunned them

April 11, 2013|By Seema Mehta
  • Ohio Committeeman Bob Bennett waits at the podium to speak during the Standing Committee on Rules meeting at the 2013 RNC spring gathering in Hollywood.
Ohio Committeeman Bob Bennett waits at the podium to speak during the Standing… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

As the Republican National Committee begins to chart its path after stinging losses in recent presidential elections, a major focus of its spring meeting in Hollywood is how to draw more support from communities that have shunned the party in large numbers, notably Latinos, Asian Americans and single women.

Much of Thursday’s agenda is focused on reaching out to such groups. This afternoon, committee members will take part in workshops about messaging, ethnic media, minority communities and women.

"We need to be in every community, not just for a couple of months, but a lasting presence where we are focused on building relationships,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “This is exactly what we are here to do -- start implementing community and neighborhood based grass-roots organization … so we can start winning elections.”

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Party leaders also will take part in a town-hall-style session called “The Path Forward” featuring speakers such as Michelle Steel, vice chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization; Ruben Barrales, the leader of an effort that has elected dozens of Latino Republicans to local office; and Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah.

The session and the workshops are closed to the media so that participants can speak freely, organizers said.

The RNC spring meeting kicked off Wednesday with a contentious rules fight that pitted establishment party leaders against GOP activists. On Thursday, the 168 committee members from across the nation will also discuss fundraising and convention planning before they hear from former Vice President Dick Cheney at a luncheon. In the evening, they will attend a dinner reception at Fox Studios headlined by former Rep. Allen West.

seema.mehta@latimes.com

Twitter: @latseema

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