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Calif. GOP Assembly Leader Still Fighting For His Job

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

August 21, 2017 -- Republican Assembly leader Chad Mayes speaks in his office before his colleagues vote on whether to retain him.

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

The top Republican in the California Assembly wants to take his party in a different direction, and it could cost him his job.

Republican Assembly leader Chad Mayes on Monday survived a second attempt by his colleagues to strip him of his leadership role, but he faces another vote next week.

Republicans trying to oust Mayes say he betrayed the party, when he worked with Democrats on an extension of the state’s signature climate change program, cap-and-trade. Mayes contends the program is the most business-friendly way to achieve the state’s climate goals.

But he says the challenge over his leadership post is more broadly about how Republicans operate in California. The Republican leader says his party can’t simply oppose policies by the Democratic majority.

"We’ve got some folks who say, ‘Nope, we’re just going to scream and yell and get out our bullhorns, and we think that’s the way things are going to be done,’" Mayes says. "Well, for years we’ve been trying that strategy and that strategy has not won."

The state Republican Party has called for Mayes’s ouster, and next Tuesday’s vote will not simply be an up-or-down affair like the last two; it’ll be an open race, where any GOP Assemblymember can run for the top job.

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