Jim Stuart was a foot soldier like few others in California politics
On Monday, we lost Jim Stuart. Jim was a political fixture in California for decades. He worked with —and for — a number of political leaders, elected officials, candidates, political action committees, and Republican political organizations.
I got to know Jim when Gov. Pete Wilson was seeking a second term. We were board members of a Political Action Committee together. We were both working on Team Wilson together. Together we helped that PAC raise $ 250,000 in a single week for Team Wilson. At that time those were record numbers. Wilson came from a double-digit deficit to beat Kathleen Brown for a second term.
Jim pulled no punches. He said exactly what he thought and was a true believer in his party and what it took to elect Republicans to office.
It seems like yesterday when former Lt. Governor of California Ed Reineke, Jim, and I were talking about President Reagan calling then-Congressman Ed Reineke and asking him to be his Lieutenant Governor. Later, Ed and Jim talked about Ed’s loss to Jerry Brown in a tight Governor’s race. That was something I won’t forget.
State Sen. Jim Battin and I were delegates at the Republican National Convention when Bob Dole was chosen to take on President Clinton in the General Presidential Election. We know how that one turned out. For those who don’t remember, Clinton smoked Dole.
Battin and I were seated near the front row and it was prime time television so all eyes would be on Bob Dole. Jim Stuart was on the convention floor with an applause sign in hand rallying the delegates to make noise. Later he escorted Actress Bo Derek to her seat between Sen. Battin and I. Another memory for the books.
Jim Stuart loved politics. The only thing he loved more was his wife Nancy. Nancy was also a Republican leader and held numerous leadership posts in the party along with her own career in banking.
Jim also loved our country. He bled red, white, and blue. He made no apologies for a country he loved and he was a great believer in democracy over socialism and communism, and had plenty to say about radicals who would irrevocably damage the land he loved.
Jim and I rarely agreed on methodology when it came to winning, candidate recruitment, advertising, radio, TV, or outdoor spots, or political action committee resource allocation or its leadership.
Yet, I was always amazed at the names of Republican leaders that he knew and the stories he shared. He was a foot soldier like few others in California politics.
Jim’s body of knowledge about California political history, his service as a state level political appointee on the state parole board, and his unabashed opinions on various candidates, their races, and his depth of knowledge in the area of opposition research will be missed.
Jim was “Group 1 Reality” and a patriot. He loved Nancy, his family, his state and country. He said what he believed and believed what he said. He called it like he saw it and wasn’t afraid to tell you what he believed was the winning solution to any race or ballot proposition.
He defended those political figures whom he believed in and was loyal to a fault to those he supported.
Jim Stuart was 81 years old when he passed. Services and memorials have yet to be announced.
- Jim-Stuart: Facebook