Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
California Republican Party gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and her husband Griffith Harsh (R) celebrate during her primary election night party at the Hilton Hotel in Universal City, California July 8, 2010.
Republicans gather for their state party convention in San Diego Friday. They’re meeting as some conservatives question their party’s candidate for governor.
Congressman Tom McClintock of Sacramento, long a conservative icon, has so far refused to endorse Meg Whitman.
So has State Insurance Commission Steve Poizner, who lost to Whitman in the GOP primary.
They lead conservatives who want their gubernatorial candidate to take a tougher stand on immigration by endorsing an Arizona-style law in California – and to promise support for Proposition 23, the measure that would roll back greenhouse gas laws. Whitman's refused to do either.
The pressure underscores the former eBay chief’s dilemma – how to inspire the party faithful to work for her while reaching out to more moderate swing voters who may like Democratic nominee Jerry Brown. Polls show her running even with Brown, despite spending $100 million of her own money on the campaign.
Organizers expect 1,000 GOP activists at the convention at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. Whitman addresses them Friday night. The party’s U.S. Senate Candidate Carly Fiorina will speak at lunch tomorrow on Saturday along with Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is running for attorney general.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, lagging in the polls and never a favorite of party conservatives who attend these conventions, will not attend.