Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Nubieber), a farmer who hails from a tiny town in the northeastern corner of California, has been elected Republican Assembly Minority leader to replace the embattled Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), who had supported Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade extension.
The leadership change, which occurred only days after a failed vote to “vacate the chair” — the California legislature’s version of a vote of no confidence – -was unanimous, and the Associated Press reports that Dahle will “take over after the Assembly leaves for its final recess of the year Sept. 15.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, Mayes was planning to continue his fight to remain leader, but changed his mind as soon as it was clear that he could not survive another vote.
Dahle made it clear that his election in his comments to the Bee that he sees his election as a unifying moment and a direction change for the SuperMinority caucus: “It was unanimous … There was not any abstention. Nobody spoke out. It was unanimous. We came together. It was beautiful.”
Dahle, who voted against the cap-and-trade bill, was careful not to criticize Mayes in his statements to reporters, saying that he will pursue policies that “move California in a direction and make it a place where people want to buy a home and have a career, send their kids to a good school and live the California dream.”
Mayes offered the new leader his full support, according to the AP:
“He has proven himself to be a very strong leader,” Mayes said, adding that he will work with Dahle to ensure a smooth transition. “His heart and his character and the vision that he has is symbiotic with what I believe as well and so he’ll do a fantastic job.”
As for the other three who had declared their intentions to seek the leadership position — Vince Fong (R- Bakersfield), Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), and Jay Obernolte (R -Big Bear Lake) – all three reportedly declined to comment.