Assembly Speaker John Perez gets overwhelming support to keep post
While some races are still not yet settled, Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) wasted no time in consolidating his power at an organizational Democratic Caucus meeting Thursday that nominated him to continue as leader next year.
A final vote on the leadership will not take place until final election results are in and new members are sworn in Dec. 3, but Perez won unanimous support by acclamation from the dozens of current and possibly new lawmakers who met Thursday at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento
Perez was still basking in the glory over surprising Democratic gains in the Assembly -- if current election results hold up, he would have a supermajority in the lower house. "He’s really done tremendous things for the caucus both in terms of promoting Democratic values and political success," said Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake).
The caucus convened Thursday included some potential new members, including Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) and Sharon Quirk Silva (D-Fullerton). Silva has a 1,004-vote lead over Republican Assemblyman Chris Norby of Fullerton in an Orange County Assembly district and it may be weeks before thousands of uncounted votes in that race are tabulated.
Perez said in a statement that he planned to move fast with his party’s new powers. “In the new legislative session we will have 54 Democrats hitting the ground running, eager to work for jobs, recovery and economic growth for California," Perez said, adding that he was "honored and humbled to receive the unanimous support of my colleagues to continue leading that effort."
Assemblywoman Connie Conway of Tulare was chosen by the Assembly Republican Caucus to continue her leadership role, while Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento received support from Senate Democratic Caucus members to remain in charge in the upper house.
--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), right, talks with Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) during a session earlier this year. Credit: Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press