Assemblyman John Perez likely Speaker after Kevin De Leon withdraws Consideration
With De Leon bowing out of the Speakership battle, this sets the stage for the openly gay, first-cousin of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to make history in Sacramento.
But as this battle ends, another may be looming for Perez. State Senator Gilbert "Gil" Cedillo has told anyone who would listen. in political circles, that he is definitely running for the 45th Assembly Seat.
This would set up a bruising and expensive inter-party battle between Perez and Cedillo, with possible state-wide implications.
For De Leon, this must be a bittersweet moment, after being the front-runner for Speaker, only to see his "ambitions and linkage" to former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, kill his chances to replicate the political ascention of his political mentor/soulmate.
Behind the scenes, the race appeared over shortly before Thanksgiving, when Villaraigosa hosted a private meeting of Perez, de Leon and former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, de Leon's childhood buddy and lifelong friend, Capitol officials said.
The session ended over a bottle of wine, officials said, with de Leon expected to become speaker and Perez targeted to run with no major Democratic opposition for the Senate seat of Cedillo, who has long coveted a move to the Assembly once he is termed out next year.
But De Leon's "ambitious drive" might of undone this Getty House conclave.
Many of his own Democratic colleagues felt that de Leon, chairman of the powerful Assembly Appropriations Committee, had not led committees focused on major policy issues and was not "up to the job" of speaker.
"Too many people believe that he didn't earn his stripes, that Fabian Nunez did all the heavy lifting for him," [Assemblyman] Torrico said.
For De Leon, he will most likely win re-election to his last term as the 46th District Assemblyman, while Perez faces the wrath of Gil Cedillo.
Thus, in time both De Leon and Perez may see their political aspirations denied, due to their respective political linkage/ baggage.