Politics & Government

Kristin Olsen named vice chair of California Republican Party

Former Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Riverbank, seen here earlier this year, will serve as the vice chair of the California Republican Party.
Former Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Riverbank, seen here earlier this year, will serve as the vice chair of the California Republican Party. Assembly Republican Caucus

It is sometimes reported that Stanislaus County has an all-Republican Board of Supervisors. Now, a newcomer to the board has accepted an appointment as vice chair of the California Republican Party.

The statewide organization announced Tuesday that former Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Riverbank was chosen for the post. Olsen will complete the term of the previous vice chair, San Francisco attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who became a California representative on the Republican National Committee earlier this year.

Olsen’s stint as Assembly Republican leader, from 2014 to early this year, enabled her to meet people in communities across the state, which will help the Republican Party connect with voters and build from the ground up, the party said.

Republicans do not have much political clout in California, with Democrats holding a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature. At the federal level, the GOP holds the majority in the Senate and House of Representatives.

“My goal is to help build a viable and vibrant Republican Party in California,” Olsen said. “Improving the lives of all Californians depends on having a healthy two-party system in our state.”

County Supervisor Jim DeMartini is chairman of the Republican Central Committee of Stanislaus County. Board of Supervisors Chairman Dick Monteith is a former Republican state senator, and Supervisors Vito Chiesa and Terry Withrow are registered Republicans.

A former Modesto council member, Olsen was elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and represented the 12th District for six years. The termed-out politician ran unopposed for the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors in November and will be sworn in next month, replacing Bill O’Brien, who did not seek re-election.

Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party, said Olsen has “brought a forward-thinking attitude to the fight to empower all Californians to pursue their dreams by building a better education system, increasing jobs and implementing government transparency.”

Olsen said in a statement Tuesday: “I’m looking forward to once again working as part of the California Republican Party leadership team as we strive to better the lives of every Californian. Our work at the Party level supports Republicans across the state who play an important role in bringing balance and transparency to our local and state government. I’m excited for this new opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”

Olsen said the time commitment and travel for the Republican Party will vary throughout the year. The new supervisor will represent the Oakdale and Riverbank area on the Board of Supervisors.

Ken Carlson: 209-578-2321