Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is getting an assist from a former Central Valley lawmaker to court Democratic and independent voters.
Former state Assemblywoman Nicole Parra was once a Democrat who contemplated defecting to the GOP but is now registered as a decline-to-state voter.
Parra says she will travel throughout California in an attempt to persuade Democrats and independents to support Whitman.
Parra, of Hanford, had a rocky relationship with her former party. In 2008, she was kicked out of her Capitol office by the former Assembly speaker for refusing to support the Democrats' budget proposal.
That same year, she was selected by Maxim magazine as No. 4 on a list of the world's hottest politicians.
She plans to begin her outreach Thursday in Oakland.