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Hartford (AP) - The newly formed Connecticut Black Republicans and Conservatives is launching a new urban outreach effort in the state's Democratic strongholds.
Regina Roundtree, founder of the organization, said she wants to help the GOP build a better urban agenda. The Republican Party "really hasn't done anything" to encourage urban and minority voters to support its candidates, she said.
"The party has just neglected that area," said Roundtree, a political consultant from New Britain and founder of an educational advocacy organization that helps at-risk youth.
The group's outreach effort includes targeting urban communities, creating team captains and attending community meetings, such as boards of education. The plan also includes mentoring potential urban candidates who support Republican ideals and promoting consultants with urban affairs strategies.
According to the group's website, the group believes "urban communities, especially black communities, can reduce the level of poverty among its residents with the introduction of conservative values, leading to a strong and balanced two-party government system."
But Roundtree said she's realistic about the GOP's chances of winning over the state's cities.
"The strategy that we have for the urban cities is not to try to win them, not in 2014," she said. "We need to strengthen and encourage the Republicans that are there."
She said the group also hopes to persuade conservative-leaning unaffiliated voters to support Republicans and build upon those successes.
Roundtree's group had planned to launch its outreach effort on Monday, Martin Luther King Day, at the state Capitol. Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, and other lawmakers were scheduled to be on hand for the announcement.
McKinney is one of several GOP gubernatorial candidates.