On July 11, 2020, CCR held a unity election open to all College Republicans. Hoping to finally unite the warring California College Republicans (CCR) and the splinter group California Federation of College Republicans (CFCR), outgoing Chairman Kimo Gandall invited both groups to participate. Both could run for office and propose constitutional amendments. CFCR actively discouraged its chapters from attending. However, members from several of their chapters ultimately showed up, and some ran for election. Nick Ortiz was elected Chairman, and the Executive Board gained four former CFCR members.
At this point, CCR viewed its unity election obligation as fulfilled and that it was the sole, legitimate College Republican organization. In actuality, several CFCR clubs still remained.
In July and August 2020, a CFCR Board member endorsed the Lincoln Project through his club, Chaffey GOP. The Lincoln Project is an organization that was dedicated to defeating President Trump. CFCR removed the individual from the Executive Board to appease its remaining chapters that were upset. Some time later, though, they voted to reinstate him on the Executive Board. Will Donahue, CFCR’s Los Angeles Chair, was the sole vote against the motion. Donahue did not want to side with actions that supported the Lincoln Project, and he resigned and took most of the chapters in LA region with him to CCR. Donahue joined the CCR Board as Chief of Staff, now another former CFCR member joining the Board.
In November, CFCR tagged CCR in a post on Facebook, saying, “We invite the California College Republicans to join us at our table to break bread and discuss unity, just as the Pilgrims and Native Americans did before us. We are so thankful for what our organization has accomplished and cannot wait to see what we, as a unified organization, as the California Federation of College Republicans, can achieve.”
CCR interpreted this as a white flag, even though CFCR phrased their proposal as a way for CFCR to prevail as the sole organization. CCR accepted their offer to discuss unity again.
CCR Chairman Nick Ortiz’s only conditions for unity were to: 1) keep the CCR name, 2) no one involved in the original split between CCR and CFCR should run for election, and 3) voting delegates should be awarded based on the amount of membership in each chapter. CFCR disagreed with the name condition and wanted each chapter to get a single vote.
CCR and CFCR ultimately reached an agreement that: 1) the name of the merged organization would be voted on at the unity election, 2) no seniors were allowed to run for office (to meet the condition for the original split), and 3) delegates would be awarded based on membership but capped at 6 delegates per chapter.
Shortly after this agreement, CFCR announced its candidate for Chairman, Michael Curry. Curry had been around for the original split between CCR and CFCR and was a fourth year student. CCR interpreted this as CFCR breaking the agreement on 'no seniors running.' Curry and CFCR attempted to claim that Curry’s transcripts showed he was still a junior, despite being a 4th year.
CCR was unwilling to budge on allowing Curry’s candidacy, believing CFCR was attempting to play tricks with the election. As it was, the new delegate allotment system favored CFCR by placing a cap of 6 delegates per chapter.
Negotiations paused, and CFCR ultimately left the table and held their own convention, electing Michael Curry their Chairman. After this, CCR continued forward, operating under the policy that the original unity election in July 2020 still stood and CFCR was illegitimate.
With CFCR unwilling to unify peacefully, CCR took to approaching individual chapters, winning over many former CFCR clubs. CCR ultimately grew its membership to 31 chapters and over 2,000 members, dwarfing CFCR. The Ortiz Admin was also able to raise $21,000 to CFCR's $13,000.
Following this growth and financial success, CCR was also able to get verified on Twitter, something only .01 percent of Twitter users achieve. This was a major boost in CCR's legitimacy. This ultimately helped sway more CFCR chapters or unchartered chapters into CCR's column.
Two weeks before the end of the Ortiz Admin, in late June 2021, the first chapter that had dechartered from CCR in the movement that formed CFCR, Cal State Fullerton, made the decision to rejoin CCR. This move unified all Orange County College Republicans under the CCR banner. This was a major win for CCR and marked the death nell of the CFCR splinter group.
The Ortiz Admin, besides helping to end the CCR/CFCR conflict, was also known as one of the most conservative CCR Administrations in history. Ortiz and his Board were heavily pro-Trump and pro-America First policies, heavily pro-life, heavily pro-gun, and more. In fact, under Ortiz, CCR emerged as the leader of the Trump Wing of the entire California Republican Party.
Chairman Ortiz opted not to seek reelection and instead step back into the role of Activism Director for the 2021-2022 term.
In no particular order:
Nick Ortiz, Chairman (2020 - 2021)
Arielle Spotswood, Co-Chair (2020 - 2021)
S.R., Executive Director (2020 - 2021)
Jose Luis Villarreal II, Secretary (2020 - 2021)
Patrick Grace, Treasurer (2020 - 2021)
Will Donahue, Chief of Staff (2020 - 2021), Secretary (2021 - 2021)
Dylan Martin, Communications Director (2018 - 2021), Acting-National Committeeman (2021 - 2021)
Stephen Sills, Bay Area Vice Chair (2020 - 2021)
Alex Arevalo, Capitol Vice Chair (2020 - 2021)
Spencer Lindquist, Central Coast Vice Chair (2020 - 2021)
Anthony Mansfield, Southern Vice Chair (2020 - 2021), Advocate General (2021 - 2021)
Sydni Weller, Central Valley Vice Chair (2020 - 2020)
Tadhg McInerney, Central Valley Vice Chair (2021 - 2021)
Michelle Ohanian, Los Angeles Vice Chair (2020 - 2021)
Made hundreds of thousands of phone calls for Republican candidates and ballot propositions. This help was pivotal in the election of Michelle Steel and Young Kim, which flipped two House seats in Orange County. Mike Garcia and “No on Prop 15” also benefited from CCR’s help, with CCR providing the Garcia team with their best phone banking day of the campaign.
CCR also sent 15 members — from 7 different chapters — to Georgia, and knocked over 7,000 doors for the Senate runoff campaigns. The organization also deployed to collect signatures for the recall of radical Democrat city councilwoman Cori Schumacher in Carlsbad.
Chief of Staff Will Donahue acted as head campaign coordinator.
Chairman Ortiz, Chief of Staff Will Donahue, and Communications Director Dylan Martin pushed for CCR to stand for life with the following:
- Condemned Joe Biden for funding foreign abortions
- Condemned abortion and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger
- Fundraised for a prolife organization called Mary’s Path
- Condemned AG Becerra for his pro-abortion inclinations and advocated against his confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and had CRs from Fresno State protest his confirmation outside Senator Feinstein’s office
Advocate General Anthony Mansfield pushed CCR to defend the Second Amendment more with the following actions as a result:
- CCR endorsed constitutional carry and the expansion of gun rights in California
- CCR endorsed the right to bear any and all arms, including fully automatic weapons
- CCR hosted a speaker and education event with the Orange County gun owners
- CCR endorsed OC, SD, and Riverside county gun owners organizations
- Led a national effort to designate May 4th a day honoring the police following local calls to defund and abolish them. Effort was backed by OCGOP, SDGOP, Ric Grenell, the CAGOP, Carl DeMaio, Rep. Mike Garcia, and more.
- Called for San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s resignation for calling Newsom Recall supporters “Nazis” and white supremacists, and got a member from UCSD on KUSI TV to discuss.
- Called media attention to an “Anti-racism” resolution at San Marcos Unified School district that sought to hire diverse candidates over most-qualified candidates
- Called media and party attention to a Stanford student senator calling to “eradicate all white people”
- Called media attention to a Democrat professor at Chapman university sending a KKK hood picture to Candace Owens
- Called media attention to Pepperdine University funding the Critical Race Theory book, “White Fragility”
- Endorsed Recall of Democrat School Board Member in San Diego who called school reopening racist, slavery, and a white supremacist ideology. We joined Reform California and Carl DeMaio on pushing this. CA College Dems, San Diego Dems, and CA Young Dems all went on an attack campaign against CCR for this. It meant they were scared of us and that CCR was pursuing the right things!
- Called media and party attention to Stanford CRs getting “cancelled” by student newspaper
- Appeared in Al Jazeera defending President Trump and advocating for 2020 election audits
- Condemned segregated graduation ceremonies at UC Berkeley in Campus Reform
- Called media attention to potential illegal activity at UCLA, where the student government was funneling money to pay the salaries of illegal immigrants through special student aid awards
- CCR was featured in at least 15 articles, including those from prominent news sources like: Politico; Al Jazeera; CNN; The San Diego Union-Tribune; CalMatters; College Fix; Campus Reform; and more.
- CCR was featured in at least 3 radio spots, appearing on The DeMaio Report on KOGO 600AM and with the LA Hispanic Republican Club on 870AM.
- CCR was featured in 3 television spots, appearing on KUSI and KGET.
Branding, Website, and Social Media
- Dialed back red and black color scheme to a red and navy color scheme
- Built up the Moxie Blog. Published 12 blog posts to Moxie since launching at the beginning of the term. Average of one article per month, giving College Republicans an opportunity to share their views.
- Resurrected the CCR Newsletter emails
- Expanded social media followers from 10,374 to 22,349. A growth of 215.4%.
- Remained the most followed College Republican state organization on Facebook and Instagram.
- Remained at more followers on Facebook than the California College Democrats.
- Created a short-lived Parler account.
- Created a Gab account.
- Created a tik-tok account.
- Got verified on Twitter. Second state CR federation verified after Texas. Only .1% of Twitter accounts are verified for being "authentic, notable, and active."
- Ran 80 social media ads to increase followership, donations, and attention.
- Redesigned the CCR website.
- 5,812 unique visits to the CCR website from June 20, 2020 to June 20, 2021. Increase of 2,217 over the previous year, or 161.7%.
- Assemblyman Kevin Kiley
- Dr. Scott Atlas
- US Senate Candidate Mark McCloskey (R-MO)
- Ambassador Richard Grenell
- Hon. Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California
- Jessica Patterson, Chairwoman of the California Republican Party
- Shawn Steel, Republican National Committeeman
- Congresswoman Young Kim (CA-39)
- Bryan Watkins, Executive Director of the California Republican Party
- Dr. Jake Jacobs
- Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04)
Raised over $21,000 to keep CCR operating smoothly.
Helped fund and send 3 clubs — over 10 students — to CPAC to hear President Trump speak.
Brought Back In-Person Events
Hosted Convention 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Treasure Island Hotel. Convention included a lunch banquet and guest speakers Jessica Patterson, Hon. Carl DeMaio, Congressman Paul Gosar, and Ambassador Richard Grenell.