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Jeff Randle named to California Trailblazers Board of Directors

April 23, 2012

California Trailblazers today announced its Board of Directors, which will work with advisors Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, and CEO Jessica Patterson to support a new generation of Republican leaders. The Board will be responsible for directing all aspects of the program including spending decisions and determining which candidates graduate to each of the three levels of the Trailblazers program.

“Just as we did with our Young Guns program, California Trailblazers will train candidates to become stronger candidates ready to bring fiscal discipline back to Sacramento,” said House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. “Along with Leaders Conway and Huff, our Board of Directors will ensure that the most qualified Republican candidates work their way through the program so they are ready to win in November and lead on Day One.”

Kate Gregg Larkin, Chair
Kate Gregg Larkin is an attorney and the Executive Director of LA Loves You, a non-profit focused on engaging young professionals in charitable giving. Before that, she helped launch Share Magnet, a Los Angeles based social marketing company. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Larkin spent five years on Capitol Hill. During that time, she worked for the House Committee on Government Reform, Congressman Tom Davis (VA-11), and Congressman Pete Sessions (TX-32). Larkin served as Congressman Sessions’ Legislative Assistant and Associate to the House Budget Committee. She also worked as a political fundraiser, helping raise millions of dollars for candidates in competitive congressional races. Larkin graduated magna cum laude from Duke University. She holds a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles and is licensed to practice law in the state of California.

Russ Johnson, C.F.O.
Russ Johnson is currently a partner with KPLJ Ventures. From May 1998 through September 2000 Johnson served as the Senior Vice-President of Global Sales and Marketing for JDS Uniphase. Prior to joining JDS Uniphase, Johnson spent over twenty years with the Hewlett Packard Company (now Agilent Technologies) in a variety of marketing, operational, and international business roles. In 1986, he was the founding manager of the HP Asia Pacific Marketing Center in Hong Kong. Johnson was a Bush Team 100 member and serves on the Lincoln Club of Northern California Board of Directors. Johnson has a BSEE from New Mexico State University and an MBA from Purdue University.

Jeff Randle, Member
Jeff Randle is President and CEO of Randle Communications, ranked by the Sacramento Business Journal as the fourth largest Public Relations and Public Affairs firm in Sacramento. He currently is a Senior Advisor to Governor Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign in California. Previously he served as a senior advisor to Meg Whitman’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, political advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2002 - 2006, and as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Pete Wilson from 1991 - 1998. Randle also was Executive Vice President of Stoorza Communications and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Chris Wysocki, Secretary
Christopher Wysocki currently serves as the Republican Caucus Political Director. He previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Senate Republican Caucus, Director of Member Services for the California Assembly Republican Caucus and Deputy Chief of Staff and Political Director for Assembly Republican Leaders Jim Brulte in 1994 and Bill Leonard in 1998. Wysocki was a partner in a Sacramento political consulting firm and President of a national small business advocacy organization. Wysocki holds a political science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The mission of California Trailblazers is to recruit, train and advise a new generation of fiscally conservative leaders to win legislative seats in 2012 and beyond. California Trailblazers is modeled after the National Republican Congressional Committee’s successful Young Guns program.

Congressional Majority Whip and Young Guns Founder Kevin McCarthy and Republican legislative leaders Senator Bob Huff and Assemblywoman Connie Conway are advisors to the California Trailblazers program.

With new district lines and an open primary, the California Republican leadership is taking action to capitalize on California’s unique political landscape. California Trailblazers is training candidates and requiring them to meet specific benchmarks to graduate through three different levels of the program.

Similar to the Young Guns program, once candidates meet metrics specifically designed for their race, they will advance to “Pathfinder,” “Rising Star,” and ultimately “Trailblazer.” These goals will focus on campaign infrastructure, grassroots support, fundraising, and more.

In addition to the rigorous goals set by the three-tier framework, the California Trailblazer program provides resources of ongoing education and training for candidates to learn campaign fundamentals. Throughout the campaign cycle, the California Trailblazers program will provide ongoing education through fundraisers, coalition-building experts, media training and issue briefings give candidates the tools they need to win.