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Rendon Elected New California Assembly Speaker

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Speaker-elect Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) sits with his wife Annie Lam in the Assembly chambers Monday.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Anthony Rendon has been elected the next leader of the California Assembly. The Los Angeles County Democrat will take over as speaker in early March after his unanimous election Monday.

Rendon (D-Paramount) emerged as the next speaker last fall after a sometimes acrimonious campaign within the Democratic caucus.

He said lawmakers must work together to create a better California: “a California where half the children in the world's eighth-largest economy are not in poverty, but instead have infinite opportunities before them, including the kind of life-changing public education experience that I had.”

Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) helped nominate Rendon in a show of bipartisanship.

“Doing so is contrary to a practice that goes back decades and I’ve taken heat for doing so,“ Mayes said on the Assembly floor Monday. “But it’s time for a change.”

Before joining the Legislature in December 2012, Rendon led a non-profit child care provider and a statewide environmental advocacy group. He says one of his top priorities in this year’s California budget is to increase state spending on child care.

“We’ve cut about $1.2 billion out of child care and I think we need to put that money back in,“ Rendon told reporters at the Capitol after being elected speaker Monday. “We’ve gotten about a quarter of the way in terms of restoring those funds. But restoring more funds to early childhood education is something that’s very important to me.”

Rendon will be the first Assembly speaker in a new era of term limits where lawmakers can serve up to 12 years.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio