The California Assembly Republican Caucus ousted Assemblyman Chad Mayes as its leader after he voted for a cap-and-trade bill. Assemblyman Brian Dahle, a farmer from Lassen County, is replacing Mayes.
On July 17, eight Republican legislators, including Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), voted for a controversial cap-and-trade bill. Launched in 2012, cap-and-trade is a program designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Opponents contend that cap-and-trade is a costly and ineffective program.
Following the vote, anger toward the Republicans who supported the bill erupted throughout the state. While Mayes survived multiple challenges to his leadership position until Thursday, the mounting pressure resulted in his ouster.
Republicans view the move to oust Mayes is seen as a sign the party values principles over pragmatism and bipartisanship.
Gov. Brown, who relied on Mayes’ support to get the cap-and-trade bill passed, took to Twitter Thursday to criticize the Assembly Republican Caucus.
“Sad day when the Grand Old Party punishes a leader whose only flaw was believing in science & cutting regs, costs & taxes for Californians,” Brown said in a tweet.
Since 2016, Mayes had served as the Assembly Republicans’ leader. Mayes will remain the leader of the caucus through the end of the legislative session in September.