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Assemblywoman Linda Halderman already is in the "doghouse," less than two weeks after the new legislative year began.

The 43-year-old Fresno Republican and medical surgeon was chosen by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez to replace GOP colleague Beth Gaines of Roseville in the shoebox-size Capitol office known as the doghouse.

Halderman declined substantive comment Friday, but said with a smile that the tiny office suits her fine and offers a nice view.

Though not always used as punishment, the cramped fifth-floor office attracted the nickname "doghouse" because Assembly speakers through the years have tended to assign it to lawmakers who angered them.

Pérez's office did not comment on why Halderman was assigned to the 391-square-foot office, which is 135 square feet smaller than the next smallest Assembly office and about 300 square feet less than the norm.

Pérez spokesman John Vigna said only that speakers shift member office assignments every year.

Halderman is known as one of the most conservative lawmakers in an Assembly dominated by liberal Democrats.

Privately, colleagues say that Halderman also raised eyebrows last year by joining in a failed behind-the-scenes effort to prod Connie Conway to step down as Assembly Republican leader. Halderman characterized such reports Friday as rumors.


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