Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

By Torey Van Oot

Assemblywoman Connie Conway has been elected leader of the Assembly Republican Caucus.

The caucus' 28 members, including 11 freshman members elected Tuesday, unanimously voted to elect Conway, of Tulare, to the post after Republican leader Martin Garrick decided to step down.

The change in leadership comes just days after Assembly Republicans lost control of a state legislative seat held by the GOP for more than twenty years. In an election marked by gains for Republicans nationwide, the caucus failed to pick up any seats in the state Assembly.

After emerging from the caucus, Garrick, who was named Assembly GOP leader only in January, said the defeat in Assembly District 5 was not the reason he stepped down. He said he felt it was time to focus on committee work and legislation he hopes to accomplish in his last two years in office.

"Connie showed leadership and was ready to lead," he said.

Conway said she was "very honored" to win the post. "I have such great examples to look up to... the leaders before me, including this great leader that I'm standing with right here, who will remain at my side," she said, standing next to Garrick.

Conway said the caucus will "stick to the principles that are so important to each of our caucus members, the Republican principles."

Conway said she has not yet scheduled a meeting with Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, though Brown's staff had contacted both her office and Garrick's yesterday about today's visit to meet with leaders in the Capitol.

This post was updated to clarify a quote from Conway.


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