Like so many others who suffered bruising losses this past Tuesday, I had that moment that CNN Commentator Donna Brazile described in her “letter to losers” of being tired, angry and sad. I lost my own primary for state assembly in the 15th district in June and promptly jumped in to help the winner Abram Wilson retain our only Republican seat in the Bay Area legislature. I did everything I could to help the presidential ticket and my friend congressional candidate Dean Andal in the 11th district.

I raised an astounding $22,500 for the Victory campaigns and even more for Andal and Wilson during the general election. Why? I just didn’t see how we could risk having a GOP “shut out” for business-friendly candidates – thus paving the way for more regulation and mandates and less flexibility.

Then Election Day and the Obama tsunami hit.

The reality of no Bay Area representation in the state legislature and the U.S. Congress was as biting a cold as I’ve felt since I left Clarkson University (where it is 45 degrees below zero in the winter).

But, rather than cry in my soup and point fingers – I’ve spent the last few days evaluating the GOP options – what it will take to succeed in the future and who our best leaders might be to show us the way.

The voters threw out the old guard – the Bush’s, the Clinton’s, the McCain’s, and the Dole’s – marking the end of an era for both Democrats and Republicans. The only one left standing was Joe Biden – and who would have ever imagined that!

Even in defeat, there is hope. Taking it on the chin (which we deserved) might just bode well for the Republican Party both nationally and in California.

The bar is high for Obama – yet the GOP has in its ranks younger, diverse leaders like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and soon-to-be #2 Republican in the U.S. House Eric Cantor of Virginia. These are but a handful of savvy, new leaders that can take the “old” out of the Grand Old Party and provide a new, fresh perspective.

The talk of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele as a candidate for Chairman of the Republican National Committee is also appealing if you believe in showcasing those “under 55” messengers who appeal beyond our traditional base.

Displaying younger messengers with innovative ideas does not mean compromising principals. The GOP must get its footing back as fiscal conservatives and really drive that contrast for voters in a bread-and-butter, kitchen table way – defining what tax increases mean and how costly it is to keep approving bonds we can’t pay for in California.

But opportunity abounds if Republicans are smart enough to capitalize in California in 2010. Just look at the 2010 gubernatorial race.

Whether it is E-Bay’s Meg Whitman, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, or former Congressman Tom Campbell, the GOP has three amazing leaders under 60 poised to run statewide. They understand that Silicon Valley isn’t a place – it’s a state of mind – and that in our new knowledge economy, we must dedicate ourselves to public service and educate our kids for the jobs of the future.

This type of forward-looking, fresh perspective on the economy, our kids, and jobs, might be just the change we need – young leaders – facing off against the Democrat “old guard” of Feinstein, Brown, or Garamendi. I like that contrast – and the opportunity that presents a new GOP in California.