"New California Assembly Speaker John Perez?"
First-term Assemblyman Democrat John Perez of the 45th District, which includes area such as Huntington Park, Boyle Heights and Pico-Union, is poise to become the next California Assembly Speaker, according to the Sacramento Bee.
In comments, this afternoon by current Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, she indicated that Perez had the votes to beat out Kevin de Leon, but his supporters are still claiming that battle for the Speakership, is not over.
In a move that could signal an end to the brewing battle over who will become the next Assembly speaker, current Speaker Karen Bass threw her support behind Assemblyman John Pérez, saying he has secured enough support within the Democratic caucus to succeed her in the post.
"I really very deeply believe that John will be a speaker that reflects the strong Democratic values that brought us all here," Bass said.
Bass said the caucus could vote as soon as next week and that she plans to immediately start working with Pérez to set a timetable for the transition of power.
She said Pérez had secured commitments from at least 29 fellow Democrats. To become speaker, he must be approved with a majority vote in Assembly -- 41 votes -- though the member who wins the support of the majority caucus has traditionally been confirmed to the post without resistance.
But the de Leon faction is not ceding defeat.
But de León supporters was still dismissing the victory claims coming from Perez's camp.
"First of all, we have not had a caucus on it. Second of all, we have not had a vote. And if there are 24 to 26 signatures that they claim to have, I haven't seen them," said Assemblymember Ed Hernandez, a de León supporter, adding that he believed his pick still had the support of 20 or so members. "Most people are failing to realize it takes 41 votes to become speaker."
Another de León supporter, Assemblyman Warren Furutani, echoed Hernandez's concerns. He called Bass naming Perez as the speaker elect "at best, premature."
In hindsight, what is hurting de Leon's bid for the Speakership includes; his past relationship to discredited former Speaker Fabian Nunez, the fact that he will be termed out in two years, and the fact that he wants to assume the Speakership almost immediately.
For Perez, his ability to serve four years as speaker is a major selling point. Plus, he is willing to be flexible with Speaker Bass, in regards to assuming the Speakership role.
Perez, who many thought was going to run for the State Senate seat, soon to be vacated by Gil Cedillo, was a late entry into the Speakership race. Neither the likes of Anthony Portatino, Felipe Fuentes or de Leon could rally their fellow Democrats, Thus, Perez was enticed to enter the Speakership battle as a sort of "reconciliation candidate".
If selected as Speaker, this will cap Perez's rapid raise through the state democratic leadership, after his 2007 election to the 45th Assembly District, which saw the two other challengers Ricardo Lara and Arturo Chavez, step aside after some backroom maneuvering.
Perez is the first cousin to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and would become the first openly gay State Assembly Speaker .
Proving that you can skyrocket from relative obscurity to big-time power if you play your cards just right, neophyte politician John Perez, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's first cousin, is widely expected to be chosen by the Democratic majority in Sacramento as the next California Assembly Speaker, KQED radio is reporting from Sacramento.
Labels: California State Assembly, john perez, Karen Bass, kevin de leon, mayor antonio villaraigosa