There will be another new face in the California legislative leadership, after the Assembly’s minority Republicans Tuesday voted to make Carlsbad Assemblyman Martin Garrick the next GOP leader.
After a transition period, Garrick will replace Sam Blakeslee as leader. Blakeslee is termed out of the Assembly after this year. Garrick, assuming he is reelected to his safe seat, can serve through 2010.
Blakeslee, in turn, rose to the position of minority leader last year after Assembly GOP members dumped former leader Mike Villines for his role in negotiating a budget deal that included temporary tax increases.
“California is facing some very difficult times today, which will require strong leadership and bold solutions,” Garrick said in a statement. “As Assembly Republican leader, I will lead my colleagues in offering Californians the solutions they are seeking to reform Sacramento, put people back to work, and get our deficit under control.”
The party leaders in each house often have an outsized role in the budget process, as negotiations typically culminate in “Big Five” meetings among the leaders and governor. Democrats have already named John Perez as speaker-elect, to replace the outgoing Karen Bass.