EXCLUSIVE: Corrin Rankin Takes the Reins as Vice Chair of the California GOP

CA GOP Vice Chair Corrin Rankin with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Credit: Corrin Rankin)

At the Spring 2023 California GOP Organizing Convention in Sacramento, Corrin Rankin, who served two years as the Central Valley Regional Vice Chair, was elected as Vice Chair for the CA GOP with overwhelming member and delegate support.



Vice Chair Corrin Rankin (Credit: Corrin Rankin)

As Central Valley Vice Chair, Rankin represented 11 California counties including Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Tuolumne, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern. This is the beating heart of California and represents the diversity of the state in terms of infrastructure, business concerns, economic span, and social and political viewpoints.

Corrin Rankin with Congressman Doug LaMalfa and GOP Chair Jessica Millan Patterson at the Sutter County GOP Fundraising Event (Credit: Corrin Rankin)


Corrin Speaks at the Republican Party of Kings County Event (Credit: Corrin Rankin)

Rankin has spent 14 years in California GOP leadership as a delegate, a board member, and then as the regional vice chair. In her role as Central Valley Regional Vice Chair, Rankin was pivotal to the successful wins of local and congressional candidates in the Central Valley, from Republican Josh Hoover to retiring Democrat Assemblyman Ken Cooley, to Reps. David Valadao and Kevin McCarthy held their critical seats in Congress, to getting Farmer and businessman John Duarte elected to Congress in a district that leaned Democrat by large margins. Rankin’s Central Valley has exhibited proven success at flipping what were thought to be reliably Blue seats to Red. It’s that type of leadership that is needed at the state level, as the CA GOP heads into the 2024 elections with the recently retired Dianne Feinstein Senate seat in their sights.

Corrin Rankin with Congressman David Valadao, Assemblyman Devon Mathis, and Vernon Costa of Kings County GOP (Credit: Corrin Rankin)


Corrin Rankin with Congressmen Tom McClintock and John Duarte (Credit: Corrin Rankin)

Rankin also chairs the California Republican Party’s newly formed Engagement Committee, whose goal is to expand the CA GOP’s reach within the variety of communities in the state. In a 2019 interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, Rankin said,

Rankin insists that the Republican Party is “about more than any one individual person.”

“The ‘racist’ term has been bandied by both sides in this tense period of partisanship,” said Rankin, who was the California director for African Americans for Trump in 2016. “The constant name-calling — we don’t want to be a part of that. We are trying a different approach here, talking to communities one step at a time. … The black community is not a monolithic community.”

I personally had the pleasure of seeing that “different approach” in action and be a part of it at the 2021 CA GOP Fall Event in San Diego. Rankin invited me to be a part of a panel with RedState’s own Deputy Managing Editor Kira Davis and congressional candidate Pastor Brian Hawkins. This is part of the fresh perspective that Rankin brings to the CA GOP, and that she will continue to bring to the role of Vice Chair.

Corrin Rankin CA GOP Convention Panel with Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, Brian Hawkins, and Kira Davis (Credit: Jennifer Oliver O’Connell)

Like many of us, Rankin started out as a Default Democrat. She voted for Barack Obama in 2009, despite the fact that the Democrat Party platform did not really line up with her values. It was in her comparison of policy and platform between the Democrat Party and the GOP that Rankin began to pay attention.

“Whereas before, I wasn’t paying attention. I just thought that, you know, this is what I should be, and that was the end of it,” Rankin said.

“I didn’t think too much about it. But when I started thinking about it and when I started doing my research as a small business owner, I realized that, you know, the Republican Party had the platform that was conducive to me having a successful business. To gaining my financial independence. I had three daughters. I was a single mother and I was putting them through school, and I needed to make a way to get them into college. That’s why I opened a small business so that I could work hard and live the California dream and be able to take care of my family. And so that’s when I started.”

I sat down with Rankin last week to talk about her story of coming to the CA GOP and how it launched her into leadership.

Rankin’s epiphany and transition to a different political party was a shock even to her.

“I didn’t think that that was going to be the answer I got. I thought that I was just going to be reaffirmed that I was on the right path, so, it took a little while for me to process.  But you know, the proof is in the pudding. It’s right there in writing. So, I decided to just dive right in and that is what I did. I went from not being involved in politics at all, not really knowing what party I should be in. Once I learned that this is the [Republican] Party that’s going to help me and help my family, I dove right in.”


We then discussed the gains achieved in the Central Valley, and thereby for the entire state and the nation.

A focus on “real representation” has been the hallmark of Rankin’s leadership in the GOP. That a party represents people, and not just special interests. The goal of electing Republicans is so that the concerns of the people are properly addressed; but not much can be done unless you change the electoral landscape—one election at a time.

“So, the Vice Chair role is quite unique. It’s a role where, you know, it requires me to step in for our chairwoman when you know she’s not available for whatever reason. She’s a hard worker, so that rarely will be the case for me, so the rest of the time I plan to do what I did in the Central Valley: just build relationships with all of the Central Committees. Help them with messaging. Really get them, you know, focused and headed in the right direction, so that we’re all moving in the same direction. In the Central Valley, we decided to put everything else to the side, whatever the issue. We decided that we were going to solely focus on winning elections, because, whatever we complain about, none of that matters if we don’t have Republicans that are elected.

“So, we’re essentially shouting into the wind if we don’t elect Republicans. So, let’s keep all the other stuff. Let’s put it in our back pocket, and [first] just focus solely on getting Republicans elected. That’s something that we can all agree on.”


Rankin feels this focus on relationships, this focus on coalescing around promoting quality candidates and then winning elections is what will ultimately help allay the internecine battles that too often occur between the grassroots and the Republican donor class.

“It’s about building relationships. About building trust about coming up with, you know, things that we all agree upon that we can all work towards. Nothing will change until we get Republicans. So, we’re actually having arguments or disagreements that we don’t even really have the luxury to have at this point because we don’t have elected officials. I went around the Central Valley and I plan to travel around the state and speak to Republicans, and really try to get everyone on the same page. I mean, I come from the grassroots. I understand how important it is to have Republican Assembly members. To have Republican state senators that represent us at the Capitol.”

And perhaps for anyone who considers themselves a Default Democrat or non-partisan, now may be the time to give the Republican Party of California a second look.

“So, why do I say, give us a chance? We have a California promise—go to The California Promise dot com, and a lot of the things that I just mentioned are included in that California promise. We want safe streets and a thriving economy, and lowering the cost of living. We’re your neighbors. We’re Californians, and we care about California the same way you do. We just ask that you give us a chance.”



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