Abel Maldonado now officially CA’s No. 2; Temple City’s state representatives both vote in favor of Maldonado’s nomination.
Written by TAYLOR EVANKO / Published April 30, 2010
Ending a nearly six-month vacancy, Abel Maldonado was sworn in as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of California on Wednesday.
Maldonado, now the state’s most powerful Latino, was confirmed by the State Assembly, 51-17, and Senate earlier, 25-7, this week. The former state senator fills a vacancy created when the former No. 2, John Garamendi, left to serve Congress.
“All I can say to you Governor is that every day that I spend in the office of Lieutenant Governor, the people’s office, we’ll be working to create jobs on behalf of every California: Republican, Democrat, Independent, Decline-to-State,” Maldonado said, after being sworn in by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Governor first nominated Maldonado in November, but in February the State Assembly failed to confirm his nominee. Schwarzenegger then re-nominated his Republican ally on February 16.
Many Assembly Democrats remained hesitant to vote for a Republican replacement for a position previously held by a Democrat, but 14 Democrats who abstained or voted “no” in February ended up changing their mind this time around for various reasons. Among those who switched their votes was Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. Some “aye”-voting Democrats, however, just wanted to end the deliberation that distracted the state legislation from tackling other issue facing California.
Had Maldonado, a former Assembly Member himself, received support from Assembly Republicans, he would have been easily confirmed in February. But his unpopularity among some Republicans led to few Republican supporters.
Last February, Maldonado crossed party lines, voting with Senate Democrats on a budget package that received virtually unanimous opposition from Republicans.
But, some Republicans voted “no” because of his moderate positions. For that reason, Assemblyman Chuck Devore (R-Irvine), who is running in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, voted against Maldonado.
Maldonado’s term officially ends in January of next year albeit he is seeking a full term in this November’s general election. Senator Sam Aanestad (R-Penn Valley), who voted against Maldonado, is also running for the Republican nomination.
Temple City’s state representatives did however vote for Maldonado.
Assembly Member Anthony Portantino, who voted for Maldonado in February, and Senator Carol Liu, who was absent during the first confirmation vote, cast their votes in support of Maldonado’s nomination.
A call was made to Senator Liu’s office, but she declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Alvaro Day, a Republican candidate for the State Assembly, would have voted “no.”
“Abel Maldonado betrayed his constituents by promising one thing and not delivering on it,” Day said. “How can we trust him to be Lieutenant Governor?”