California

Joaquin Arambula is considering running for California Convention speaker

California Assm. Joaquin Arambula confirmed on Wednesday that he is considering running for State Assembly speaker, a move that raises questions about the soundness of a successor deal Democrats have reached in this House to choose their next leader. Arambula, a Democratic doctor representing the Fresno area, said Wednesday in a one-on-one interview with KCRA 3 that he was being approached for the speakership, but didn’t say which specific lawmakers would like him to be considered. “I look forward to further discussions,” said Arambula. “While I am humbled by the trust that has been placed in me, that consensus decision regarding our speaker ultimately rests with the members of our caucus and I will respect that decision.” When asked if there was no consensus within the caucus now answered Arambula didn’t answer the question directly, but replied, “I think it’s important that we choose a consensus.” Arambula’s potential candidacy is the latest chapter in a more than seven-month saga of State Assembly oratory drama. The update comes about two months after Democrats agreed that longtime Speaker Anthony Rendon would pass the torch to Salinas-area MP Robert Rivas later this summer. The agreement was drafted behind closed doors at a post-election caucus in Sacramento. Previous coverage in the video below | California Democrats vote for Robert Rivas to lead the assembly. KCRA 3 video of the November caucus session showed several lawmakers descending from the escalator and cheering that an agreement had been reached. Arambula was not seen among them. “I don’t remember exactly that night and why I wasn’t there,” Arambula said. The leadership change was prompted last spring when some Democrats disagreed with some leadership decisions Rendon had made throughout the year, urging Rivas to announce he had the votes to become the next speaker. While Rendon remained in the leadership position, the power struggle in the months that followed spilled over into the November election before an agreement was reached on the transfer of the power plan between the two. Lawmakers then codified the agreement in a House resolution in December, passing the deal on a single vote, meaning certain members’ votes were not recorded. “Anytime we talk about leadership it’s important that we make the effort to ask members to vote and believe it’s important that we do our research and see who the members were who voted have,” Arambula said. The Speaker of the Assembly is one of the most powerful positions in the California government. They help direct the flow of policy through the State Capitol and determine which lawmakers lead key policy committees. For the past six years, Rendon has tapped Arambula to chair a budget committee focused on health and social services. A source close to Rendon told KCRA 3 the speaker thinks Arambula “extremely highly” but said he was not involved in Arambula’s bid for the speaker. Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for Assemblyman Rivas, told KCRA 3 that the leadership contract has been finalized. “Game over,” Maviglio said. “The reality is that the caucus has moved on.”

California Assm. Joaquin Arambula confirmed on Wednesday that he is considering running for State Assembly speaker, a move that raises questions about the soundness of a successor deal Democrats have reached in this House to choose their next leader.

Arambula, a Democratic doctor representing the Fresno area, said Wednesday in a one-on-one interview with KCRA 3 that he was approached for the speakership, but didn’t say which specific lawmakers would like him to be considered.

“I look forward to further discussions,” said Arambula. “While I am very impressed with the trust that has been placed in me, this consensus decision regarding our speaker ultimately rests with the members of our caucus and I will respect that decision.”

When asked if there was no consensus within the caucus now, Arambula didn’t answer the question directly, but replied, “I think it’s important that we vote for consensus.”

Arambula’s potential candidacy is the latest chapter in a more than seven-month saga of State Assembly oratory drama. The update comes about two months after Democrats agreed that longtime Speaker Anthony Rendon would pass the torch to Salinas-area MP Robert Rivas later this summer. The agreement was drafted behind closed doors at a post-election caucus in Sacramento.

Previous coverage in the video below | California Democrats vote for Robert Rivas to lead the assembly

KCRA 3 video of the November caucus meeting showed several lawmakers descending from the escalator jubilant that an agreement had been reached. Arambula was not seen among them.

“I don’t remember exactly that night and why I wasn’t there,” Arambula said.

The leadership change was prompted last spring when some Democrats disagreed with some leadership decisions Rendon had made throughout the year, urging Rivas to announce he had the votes to become the next speaker. While Rendon remained in the leadership position, the power struggle in the months that followed spilled over into the November election before an agreement was reached on the transfer of the power plan between the two.

Lawmakers then codified the agreement in a House resolution in December, passing the deal on a single vote, meaning certain members’ votes were not recorded.

“Anytime we talk about leadership, it’s important that we do the hard work of asking members to cast a vote and believe it’s important for us to do our research and see who the members are.” were the ones who voted,” Arambula said.

The Speaker of the Assembly is one of the most powerful positions in the California government. They help direct the flow of policy through the State Capitol and determine which lawmakers lead key policy committees. For the past six years, Rendon has tapped Arambula to chair a budget committee focused on health and social services.

A source close to Rendon told KCRA 3 the speaker thinks Arambula “extremely highly” but said he was not involved in Arambula’s bid for the speaker.

Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for Assemblyman Rivas, told KCRA 3 that the leadership contract has been finalized.

“Game over,” Maviglio said. “The reality is that the caucus has moved on.”

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