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CONNIE CONWAY.JPGAssembly GOP leader Martin Garrick has stripped Assemblywoman Connie Conway of her leadership role as the second-ranking Republican in the Assembly.

Garrick had named Conway as caucus chair after he edged her out in January as the Assembly Republicans' pick to replace former leader Sam Blakeslee.

"You serve at the leader's discretion so he can change his team whenever he wants, and I certainly respect that," Conway said in an interview today.

The Tulare Republican said she enjoyed her leadership post and looks forward to focusing on the Nov. 2 election and continuing to be active in the caucus when the Legislature reconvenes in December.

Garrick's office has not publicly given a reason for the shake-up, but chatter of a late-night push to gather support for Conway replacing Garrick as Republican leader filled the chambers during the marathon budget session earlier this month. Conway said it wasn't unusual for the rumor mill to churn during the all-night session, which she called "a very intense evening."

"I was very focused on the task at hand in my role as caucus chair, trying to rally the members (for votes)," she said.

The caucus chair is tasked with "(assisting) the Leader in advancing the Republican policy agenda, and achieving the Caucus' political goals," says the Assembly Republicans' website.

Garrick's office has not named a replacement for Conway.

FILE PHOTO: Assemblywoman Connie Conway, R-Tulare



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