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David Hadley

New Year’s Resolutions for California Republicans

To my fellow Republicans – happy 2019!

In the wake of November’s disastrous California election results, we clearly need to up our game if we are going to rebuild from here. Here are my resolutions for our leaders:

David Hadley


May our elected officials and candidates resolve to focus less on policy detail and more on the values behind – and the beneficiaries of – their policies. Too many CA voters believe that the GOP does not share their values or care about them. This is in part because Democrats, universities and the media feed them propaganda, but also in part because our standard bearers often don’t explain our values or talk about who will benefit. We can do better!

May our candidates in “Top Two” races resolve to be team players. Until we get rid of the Top Two voting system, the GOP simply cannot afford delusional, selfish behavior by our candidates.

In Assembly District 76 we lost a longtime Republican seat in 2018 because the June primary ballot had two Democrats and six Republicans. The two Democrats made the top two, assuring a Democratic victory in November. Republican Phil Graham came in third with 21% of the vote, and none of the five other Republican candidates broke double digits.

We had Top Two Trouble in the statewide races too. No Republican made it to November in the US Senate or Lieutenant Governor elections after we had 11 and four Republican candidates, respectively. And in the governor’s election, Travis Allen risked a Dem vs. Dem November when he pressed on despite being significantly behind John Cox in the polls, President Trump endorsing Cox and Cox receiving 58% of CRP delegates’ endorsement votes.

It is the responsibility of volunteers, donors, consultants, party leaders and, yes, candidates not to endanger our opportunities to win.

May CRP delegates resolve to be leaders who work strategically to grow the party. In a state of 40 million people, our 1,400 CRP delegates are a select group who determine the party’s platform and elect our party leaders (among other responsibilities). Let’s not waste our leadership roles on what I call primal scream gestures; we need to be smart and strategic to rebuild. May we resolve to use our voices and our votes strategically to help grow and strengthen the party.

May GOP political professionals resolve to do what it takes to win elections even when you don’t benefit financially. You know what I’m talking about.

May our voters resolve to vote early. Please make it a habit to vote as soon as your ballot arrives, and encourage your relatives and friends to do the same. Once you have voted, GOP campaigns can avoid expending volunteers’ time and donors’ money on you and can focus on other voters.

May my fellow candidates for CRP office resolve to grow the GOP, not just take it over. There is a big difference between running for party office and growing the party. The CA GOP cannot afford leaders whose only or primary goal is to take control of the GOP. We need our leaders focused on uniting and growing our party.

May I resolve to clearly state the depth of our challenge while also sharing my optimism. I am confident that the majority of Californians share core Republican values (see However, I am also sobered by the immense challenge we face in California, and I occasionally despair about how much there is to do.

So my final resolution – and hopefully yours – is: be of good cheer! We have much work to do, but if we rise to the challenge we can make sure that your children, my children and the next generation of Californians will enjoy the same opportunities so many of us have enjoyed in this great state. Let’s get it done!

David Hadley represented the 66th District (Torrance) in the State Assembly, and was appointed vice chair of the CRP in July 2018. He is running for CRP chair. You can reach him at