John Perez is hailed as one of the most influential Gay politicians in America. He is now ready to take over the California State Assembly as its next Speaker.By Randy Economy
The California State Assembly is poised to get it's first "openly gay" Speaker today, and many Republicans and Moderate to Conservative Independents in California are licking their political chops.
Ultra-Liberal Assemblyman John Perez, D-Los Angeles, is set to become the next choice for California state Assembly's next speaker, after some heavy back room political squabbling took place in Sacramento this morning.
Assemblyman Kevin De Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, has agreed to back Perez for the Speakership after weeks of nasty campaigning for the top position in the State Assembly.
Perez told reporters this morning that he now expects the Democratic Caucus to vote on a new leader today and that he now has the votes needed to win the Speakership.
(If you want to see how John Perez works behind the scenes, take a look at this You Tube clip on a Conference Call he was on after the defeat of Prop 8 last year).
It was still unclear whether that leadership change would be formalized in an Assembly floor vote or not.
My sources in Sacramento tell me that Perez, a freshman Assemblyman from Los Angeles, met with about one dozen Assembly Democrats who were still backing De Leon for the Assembly's top job. De Leon supporters came out of the meeting voicing support for Perez. "John Perez will be our next speaker," outspoken Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana, a former De Leon supporter told reporters.
De Leon, in limited comments to reporters, characterized this morning's meeting as "productive and positive" (meaning what is not known at this hour).
Democrats who control the votes needed to win the Speakership are set to meet this afternoon to discuss the leadership position.
Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, who has had a failed Speakership in the eyes of many on both sides of the political spectrum, said that the next Speaker will take over some time early next year. Bass's office says a timeline for a leadership transition has not been been worked out.
With this historical victory for the openly gay Perez, it will be interesting to see how his Speakership will play in conservative Democratic areas like here in the 56th Assembly District, and other districts in the Fresno/Central Valley areas.