Ruth Singlyn, 52, is a homemaker from Westlake Village. She never got involved in a political campaign until this year, when she decided she had to phone bank for Meg Whitman.
"She's a businesswoman and a mother," Singlyn said at the Whitman victory party at the Universal Hilton. "If it was a man, I probably wouldn't have volunteered."
It'll take more than Whitman's millions to beat Jerry Brown in the fall. She's also counting on conservative women -- the "mama grizzlies," in Sarah Palin's formulation -- to volunteer.
Whitman and GOP Senate nominee Carly Fiorina are the first two women the California Republican Party has ever nominated for governor or senator. With the state's demographics trending in the Democrats' favor, both hope to broaden the party's appeal beyond its core of support among white males.
"We've had enough men fouling up this state," said Martha House, an African-American Whitman
supporter from Hacienda Heights. "It's time for a woman to get up there
and clean house."
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Several Whitman volunteers feared that if she loses, businesses -- and individuals -- will continue to flee California.
"It's gonna be tough," Singlyn said. "But we've gotta get her to win. Or we're gonna leave the state."
Sharon Jackson, a 67-year-old retired principal from Placentia, said she would volunteer this fall for Whitman for the first time in her life.
"We've gotta keep Californians here," she said.