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GOP activist Doug McNea dies at California Republican Party convention

March 20, 2011 | 11:51 am

Doug McNea, of San Jose, a longtime GOP activist, died late Saturday night after collapsing during the California Republican Party’s convention in Sacramento.

McNea, 64, a perennial candidate whose last run was for state Assembly in 2010, was dancing at a party thrown by House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento when he collapsed. Bystanders obtained a defibrillator and attempted to perform CPR before paramedics arrived.

As they treated McNea, McCarthy urged partygoers outside to pray for him, and a small group formed a prayer circle, kneeling on the carpet outside the ballroom. McNea was active in the leadership of the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Assn., according to Shane Patrick Connolly, a delegate from Santa Clara.

More than 1,000 delegates gathered at a Sunday morning meeting observed a moment of silence.

“The guy has been fighting for taxpayers for an entire generation,” said Jon Fleischman, a delegate and conservative blogger. “He’ll be a voice ... that will be very hard to be replaced.”

-- Seema Mehta in Sacramento