Friday, December 2, 2016

Political Reshuffle Could Affect the Regents

No, not the one going on in Washington, DC. Here in California, State Attorney General Kamala Harris was elected U.S. Senator. That shift opened a vacancy for Gov. Brown to appoint. He appointed Congressman Xavier Becerra to be attorney general. That shift created a contest to fill Becerra's soon-to-be vacant congressional seat. Regent John Pérez has now declared himself a candidate for that seat:

It didn’t take long after Xavier Becerra was selected as California’s next attorney general for the race to succeed him to begin.
Less than an hour after Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday morning that the Democratic congressman from Los Angeles would take over for Attorney General Kamala Harris when she heads to the U.S. Senate next year, the first candidate emerged for this rare open House seat: former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez.
“I’m running for Congress to take these California values and our state’s visionary approach to the national level,” Pérez said in a statement. “California needs leadership who will stand up against Donald Trump, but also leadership that will fight for the poor, the middle class, for job creation, and for a vision that can help us win all across the country.”
Within hours, he had rolled out his first string of endorsements, including former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, and state Controller Betty Yee.
Pérez, a Democrat, served six years in the Assembly, including four as speaker, before narrowly losing the controller election to Yee in 2014. He was appointed by Brown to the University of California governing board later that year, where he has been a critic of proposals to raise tuition.
Becerra’s seat, the 34th Congressional District, covers the area around downtown Los Angeles and is heavily Democratic and nearly two-thirds Latino...
When Pérez was speaker of the Assembly, he was automatically an ex officio regent. The ex officio regents, such as the governor, are obviously political officeholders and sometimes candidates. But Pérez is currently out of office and now holds a "regular" regent's seat, as an appointee of the governor. Whether he can continue to serve as a candidate - or will want to - is unclear. If he drops off the board, Gov. Brown could nominate someone else. As a regent, Pérez often challenged UCOP on various issues.

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