At California convention, some GOP conservatives feel lost

INDIAN WELLS — Elaine McKearn is the kind of socially conservative Republican who used to dominate California Republican Party conventions such as the one that concluded Sunday.

The Thousand Oaks resident opposes abortion rights and gay marriage and sees illegal immigration as one of California's main problems. In 2002, the now-66-year-old was so inspired by GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bill Simon that she jumped aboard as a campaign volunteer.At this convention, however, McKearn said she felt lost. All three of the party's gubernatorial candidates are pro-abortion rights social moderates who make only passing references to immigration, gay marriage, religion and other red-meat conservative social issues.

One candidate, former Rep. Tom Campbell, was once registered as a Democrat and supports legalizing gay marriage, while the other two � Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman, the former CEO of online auction firm eBay � have contributed to Democratic candidates in the past.

"We're trying to find our way," McKearn said of conservatives. "We have no favorite candidate to go to."

Read the complete story at sacbee.com