Assembly Republicans select Chad Mayes as next leader

Chad MayesCome January, Assembly Republicans will have a new leader.

On Tuesday, the 28 Republican members of the lower house selected Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley as their next leader. The caucus did not release the specific tally for the caucus vote nor indicate any other candidates for the leadership post.

“I am fortunate to inherit a Caucus that is united in its commitment to fiscal responsibility and meeting the needs of a 21st Century economy,” Mayes said in a press release following the announcement. “For California to thrive, legislative leaders must provide solutions that offer a pathway to prosperity. Too often politicians take actions that limit opportunity in the very communities they claim to serve.”

He added, “I look forward to working with our Caucus to make California a better place to call home.”

Mayes, who was elected to the state Assembly in 2014, will take over for current GOP leader Kristin Olsen when the Legislature reconvenes on January 4, 2016.

Second consecutive GOP leader to reject anti-tax pledge

Mayes said that he intends to carry on Olsen’s philosophy and approach to the post.

Dollar Puzzle 02

“I am humbled by my colleagues’ confidence in my ability to lead the Caucus,” Mayes said. “I plan to build upon Kristin’s vision of bringing the Caucus and its supporting operations into the 21st Century. She has worked tirelessly to position our Caucus and its members for maximum success.”

Since taking over as minority leader, Olsen has embraced a more moderate approach and rejected the anti-tax rhetoric that is considered orthodoxy to traditional conservative Republicans. In 2012, Olsen publicly criticized the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a promise by elected officials to oppose higher taxes.

“The problem with the no-tax pledge is that entrenched special interests interpret what is or is not a violation of the pledge in order to serve their own agendas – and sometimes their interpretations defy logic,” Olsen wrote in a Sacramento Bee opinion piece before taking over as leader. “To grow the Republican Party, we have to get away from relying solely on ‘No’ messages. We are better than that, and Californians deserve and desire solution-focused leadership that will help bring legislative Democrats over to our side on the need for lower taxes and substantive reforms.”

As a candidate for State Assembly, Mayes similarly rejected the anti-tax pledge. Mayes told the Desert Sun last year that “he’s not the kind of Republican who is out to blow up government … and said he declined to sign the taxpayer protection pledge.”

Mayes brings experience from more than a decade serving at the local government level. He was first elected to the Yucca Valley Town Council in 2002 and was twice re-elected. During his time on the town council, Mayes served as president of the Desert Mountain Division of the League of California Cities.

He also worked as a political staff member at the county-level, serving as chief of staff to San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford.

Olsen’s tenure as leader

Olsen earned praise from her colleagues for her tenure as leader.

“Kristin may have been a transitional leader in terms of time, but she has been transformative in her impact on Caucus operations,” said Assembly Republican Caucus Chair Scott Wilk of Santa Clarita. “Her changes set a pathway to Republican relevancy and she worked to lay the foundation for a Republican majority in the near future. Thanks to Kristin, our Caucus is united, focused, and motivated.”

Olsen, who is termed out of the state Assembly next year, welcomed the leadership transition and said she’s proud of her accomplishments, which included a major staff shake-up as part of an effort of “modernizing caucus operations.”

Kristin_Olsen_Picture“My goal as Assembly Republican leader has been to unite our caucus and advance core principles that resonate with Californians and will revitalize our state: good jobs, great schools, and a more transparent, effective, and citizen-driven government,” Olsen said. “I am pleased that we have been able to accomplish this while modernizing our Caucus operations, hiring top-notch staff, and becoming pro-active and solution-focused.”

Mayes will have company learning the ropes as a new Republican leader. Last week, the Senate Republican Caucus announced that Sen. Jean Fuller of Bakersfield had unseated Sen. Bob Huff as Republican Senate leader.

Huff is running for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to replace longtime Supervisor Mike Antonovich. Other candidates for that seat include gang prosecutor Elan Carr, Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander and Kathryn Barger, Antonovich’s chief of staff.

10 comments

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  1. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 4 September, 2015, 09:31

    Yawn…….where is Maldo?

    Reply this comment
  2. darlene casella
    darlene casella 4 September, 2015, 09:40

    Congratulations Chad,

    You continue to make us proud. We appreciate your leadership and common sense approach in Sacramento.
    See you at the CRP!

    Reply this comment
  3. Charlie Peters
    Charlie Peters 6 September, 2015, 17:31

    AB 32 performance

    Reply this comment
  4. bob
    bob 6 September, 2015, 19:26

    Hey Chad, here in Colliefornia (as your Buddy Ahnode calls it) we already pay among the highest taxes in the country. And your friends the Dems are out for huge taxes on energy (another 12 cents to gas and next year the AB 32 tax increases again (already it is costing us 10 cents a gallon) and then there is SB350 plus the Dems are out to raise the vehicle registration tax).

    Why not give the already over-taxed and beleaguered taxpayer a break and take the pledge? WE ALREADY PAY TOO MUCH IN TAXES!

    “To grow the Republican Party, we have to get away from relying solely on ‘No’ messages. We are better than that, and Californians deserve and desire solution-focused leadership that will help bring legislative Democrats over to our side…

    So you won’t pledge to not increase our taxes that are already too high and you are trying to appeal to Demonrats? Sounds to me like you are saying the Colliefornians deserve higher taxes.

    Reply this comment
  5. Another Disgruntled Citizen
    Another Disgruntled Citizen 7 September, 2015, 14:01

    Hey, I used to think California was going to sink into the sea because the Fault Line runs right through here. Now I know that before the Big One hits, we will already be washed away by the burden of the taxes we’ve laid on ourselves.

    Those who are trying to explain the connection between California’s foolish tax policies and the inevitable destruction of our state need only to read these two books (buy a case of each to share with anyone who doesn’t get it):

    For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of History by Charles Adams (still in print). It’s a hoot. Read the chronicle and be warmed by the examples from the past…

    The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal by Robert Murphy (also still in print).

    Both of these books are guaranteed to give you something to laugh about, boost your morale, and make your arguments against adding to the tax burden at the local, state and federal level. It all goes together.

    Did you know that in California our state legislators hardly ever see their constituents up at the State Capitol but know the lobbyists from the League of Cities, California Redevelopment Association (it’s not dead. folks, the laws that make corporate welfare and eminent domain abuse possible are still on the books), associations of county supervisors & mayors & city managers, etc., who like to visit them regularly, send email bulletins and invite them to conferences and seminars and workshops and so forth.

    Go to Sacramento for your next vacation. Visit the old State Capitol building and pay your respects to the men and women who represent you. Don’t leave without the best thing your tax dollar has ever been spent on: the Senate or Assembly handbook on the Constitution of the State of California. It includes every important document in the tradition of American Liberty back to Magna Carta.

    The duty of a Senator is to Protect the People’s Liberty.
    California Senate Motto

    Reply this comment
  6. Another Disgruntled Citizen
    Another Disgruntled Citizen 7 September, 2015, 14:02

    Hey, I used to think California was going to sink into the sea because the Fault Line runs right through here. Now I know that before the Big One hits, we will already be washed away by the burden of the taxes we’ve laid on ourselves.

    Those who are trying to explain the connection between California’s foolish tax policies and the inevitable destruction of our state need only to read these two books (buy a case of each to share with anyone who doesn’t get it):

    For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of History by Charles Adams (still in print). It’s a hoot. Read the chronicle and be warmed by the examples from the past…

    The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal by Robert Murphy (also still in print).

    Both of these books are guaranteed to give you something to laugh about, boost your morale, and make your arguments against adding to the tax burden at the local, state and federal level. It all goes together.

    Did you know that in California our state legislators hardly ever see their constituents up at the State Capitol but know the lobbyists from the League of Cities, California Redevelopment Association (it’s not dead. folks, the laws that make corporate welfare and eminent domain abuse possible are still on the books), associations of county supervisors & mayors & city managers, etc., who like to visit them regularly, send email bulletins and invite them to conferences and seminars and workshops and so forth.

    Go to Sacramento for your next vacation. Visit the old State Capitol building and pay your respects to the men and women who represent you. Don’t leave without the best thing your tax dollar has ever been spent on: the Senate or Assembly handbook on the Constitution of the State of California. It includes every important document in the tradition of American Liberty back to Magna Carta.

    Reply this comment

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John Hrabe

John Hrabe

John Hrabe spends his time traveling the world as a freelance journalist. When he isn’t on an international flight, John writes about California politics for CalWatchdog.com and CalNewsroom.com.

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