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Assembly Majority Leader Pushed Out in Shake-up

November 24, 2023

Sacramento

Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, D-Hollister, announced a major change to Assembly leadership Tuesday night that included the ouster of Assemblyman Isaac Bryan, D-Los Angeles, as majority leader.

In a statement, Rivas thanked Bryan for his “exceptional work during my transition into the office of speaker.”

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, will take over for Bryan, and Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, replaces Aguiar-Curry as speaker pro tempore.

Wood, who departs the chamber next year to care for his aging mother, said in a statement that he looks forward to “working alongside the speaker to make sure the voices of Californians are heard in Sacramento.”

According to Politico, Bryan had talked himself up as a strong second in command of the lower chamber. In a statement to Politico following the shake-up, he observed that Black Californians “now see no representation” in Rivas’ leadership team.

The changes, which go into effect Jan. 22, included removing Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, as Assembly Appropriations Committee chair, in favor of Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, and Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, D-Woodland Hills, in place of Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, as chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.

Wicks, in an email to supporters, vowed to use the powerful appropriations chair “to more effectively advocate for more affordable housing, better support for working families, and a more equitable future for all Californians.”

Rivas’ announcement also included the unusual decision to name outgoing Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, as chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee. McCarty has chosen not to run for reelection as he instead seeks to succeed Darrell Steinberg as mayor of Sacramento.

In a statement, McCarty said that the committee handles “many topics” that are “top of mind for Californians.”

“I look forward to moving balanced and common sense policies next year,” he said.