In an unusual move for the California Republican Party—which has long staked its comeback on moving toward the center—the state board of the party voted to call for the resignation of one of it’s own, who was presumably sticking to the establishment script, Assembly GOP Minority leader Chad Mayes.
The results of the vote of the 20-member board, which took place Friday evening, was posted on the FaceBook Page of Harmeet Dhillon, who is former Vice Chair of the party, becoming National Committeewoman in 2016.
The vote was 13 in favor, 7 opposed with one abstaining.
Dhillon, who made the motion calling for Mayes to resign, included the text and results in her post:
“Given the uproar over recent decisions and actions by Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes and the fact that those decisions and actions have acted to divide the California Republican Party, the Board of Directors of the CAGOP urges Leader Mayes to resign his leadership position immediately, and if he fails to do so, urges the members of the Republican Assembly Caucus to select a new leader at the earliest opportunity.”
The vote was 13 for, 7 against, one abstention (Team Cal, the donor representative). The seven against were mainly regional vice chairs, which is interesting. McCully, Caro, Wilder, Willmon, Guerra, Mayes, and Olsen voted NO. The rest of the board voted yes.
Tony Kravaric, a board member and Chair of the powerful San Diego County GOP also posted the results on his Facebook, offering a glimpse into the internal conflict confronting the California Republican Party:
It is done. The California Republican Party (CRP) board voted to ask Assemblyman Chad Mayes to step down as Leader, and if he doesn’t, for the Assembly Caucus to force new leadership. It saddens me that it had to come to this but it had to be done. I pray that Chad does the right thing and steps down…
[having earlier posted]
(…”I take no pleasure in casting this vote but dangit I volunteer over 1000 hrs per year for our Party and expect more from our leaders.)”
The Los Angeles Times reports that:
Mayes said he has no intention of stepping down, and he believes he has enough support to remain in his position.
“I am not going to capitulate,” he said. “I’m going to continue to keep pushing forward.”
What the Times did not report is that both Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes and current CRP Vice Chair Kristen Olsen, who are rumored to be having an affair, both voted “No” on the motion calling for Mayes to resign.
The first opportunity for an actual vote to “vacate the chair”—which is necessary for anyone to put their name forth to replace Mayes—will take place Monday when the Republican Assembly Caucus reconvenes after their summer recess.
So far two candidates have expressed interest in the leadership position: Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), who announced her interest on Thursday and was promptly endorsed by the Riverside County GOP, and Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake), who has been quietly building support behind the scenes.