Speaker Arambula? Fresno lawmaker takes a stab at shaky handoff deal

A closed door deal was supposed to guarantee the next Speaker of the Assembly is from the Central Valley. But could it be a different lawmaker?

Asm. Joaquin Arambula (D–Fresno) doesn’t appear too content with a deal that would see outgoing Speaker Anthony Rendon (D–Paramount) hand the reins of the chamber to a fellow Central Valley lawmaker, per a report.

Rendon, who is set to conclude the longest tenure as California Assembly Speaker in the term-limits era, struck a deal with Asm. Robert Rivas (D–Hollister) to extend his term until the summer.


Go deeper: Rivas’ bid to oust Rendon last spring forced a reckoning within the Assembly Democratic Caucus that spilled into a contentious battle for control of the chamber.

  • Shortly after the 2022 election, Democrats huddled for nearly an entire day to strike a deal that would see Rendon presiding over the chamber through June before handing over control to Rivas.
  • Prior to the deal, the pair began were in a pricey campaign to recruit new legislators to their cause to determine control of the chamber.
  • Friday, a report from Politico surfaced noting that Arambula began taking soundings from his colleagues about pursuing the Speakership himself.

What’s going on? Arambula, fellow lawmakers told the pub, has begun whipping votes for a potential bid last week.

  • In an interview, the Fresno doctor-turned-lawmaker, said he had been approached about pursuing the top job in the lower chamber, but didn’t specify who.

What they’re saying: “A consensus decision regarding our next speaker rests with the members of our caucus, and I will respect their decision,” Arambula told the Sacramento publication.

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