Assembly Republicans have a new leader in Sacramento, and she's from the San Joaquin Valley. Modesto's Kristin Olsen joined us on Valley Edition to talk about her priorities from education to a water bond. She also spoke about her ideas on how California Republicans can better connect with voters in the future.
On her vision for Republicans in California:
"That's actually going to be one of my goals as leader as well, is to implement a lasting structure for success. And part of that involves rebranding ourselves. Demonstrating that we care about people and their daily struggles. And that we're people just like them, moms, dads, workers, small business owners who want to be able to prosper in this state."
On reaching out beyond districts that are considered safe for Republicans:
"We want to embrace the diversity of our state not only demographically with men, women and young people, but also geographically. We need to start going places that historically may have been Democratic strongholds. Because we have a winning message, we have winning policies. But we need to articulate those to people, so that we can be able to convince them to rejoin the party, rebuild the Republican Party in California."
Olsen on Senator Kevin DeLeon, who said of the Central Valley "nobody lives out there in the tumbleweeds" when talking about the state's high speed rail project:
"Frankly it was insulting, demeaning and condescending to hear one of the leaders of our state speak about those of us who call the Central Valley our home in such an arrogant way. It also needs to be instructive to those of us Republicans and Democrats alike who represent the San Joaquin Valley, in that we need to do a better job of promoting the value of the Central Valley, promoting the great amenities that are here... We need to talk about those strengths. Not a whole lot of things unite Democrat and Republican lawmakers in California, but this is one of those things where Central Valley members will be banding together to promote the people who live here."