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Connie Conway was re-elected as Assembly Republican leader Thursday, two days after the GOP took a shellacking statewide that appears to have given Democrats a supermajority of seats in both houses of the Legislature.

Meanwhile, Democrats chose Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez
to remain as their leader, a move that was expected because of his past service and the party's apparent capture Tuesday of two additional Assembly seats, which would give it 54 of 80 seats.

Selection of Conway and Pérez were unanimous decisions of their respective caucuses.

"I'm very pleased, but I also understand the obligation that comes with that - and it's a serious one," said Conway, a former Tulare County supervisor.

"To make sure we are really unified," she said. "And to make sure that as a team we have goals, we express those goals, and that we try to move California in what we believe is the right direction."

Conway, ascended to leader of the GOP caucus in November 2010, two days after Democrats captured a Republican-held seat and Martin Garrick stepped down as caucus chief.

Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, said that there was no dissension Thursday in retaining Conway.

"She proved herself through the elections - she worked hard," Jones said. "We had a game plan that we executed. Unfortunately the results weren't there, but the results weren't there for Republicans all over the state."

Added Jones: "There was nothing that we can point to that (Conway) did wrong to get us the results we got. So, we need continuity, we need to show Californians that Republicans can work together."

Freshman Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, who will represent parts of Riverside and San Diego counties, said that Republicans are "licking our wounds" but that the caucus needs to stick together.

"We have a solid team and we have the future ahead of us," Waldron said of Conway's retention.


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