Abel Maldonado confirmed as Lieutenant Gov.

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 30, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Following a long confirmation process that began shortly after the New Year, the Legislature and Governor officially confirmed State Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) as Lieutenant Governor of California.  Maldonado’s confirmation fills the vacancy created when John Garamendi (D) was elected to Congress late in 2009.

This was Maldonado’s second run as the Governor’s nominee for the post, having failed to achieve the votes necessary for confirmation in the Assembly in February.  This time around, Maldonado received an overwhelming majority of support in the Assembly, followed by a vote from the Senate, 25-7. Members on both sides of the aisle praised the Senator for his maverick style that helped lead to bi-partisan budget accords, but he also drew harsh criticism amongst members of his own party for raising taxes.

Among the various duties of the constitutionally-elected office, the lieutenant governor serves as acting governor when the sitting governor leaves the state. He also serves as president of the state Senate and is on the governing boards of California's public university systems and state Lands Commission.

In a politically charged election year, Maldonado’s confirmation also sets the stage for what could be a sizable battle between the two parties to replace him in the Senate.  With a Republican seat now up for grabs, the democrats hope to move one step closer to establishing a 2/3 majority in the Senate.  On Tuesday, the Governor announced the special election dates for Maldonado’s Senate district 15 of June 22 for the primary and August 17 for the general.  Assembly Republican Leader Sam Blakeslee (San Luis Obispo) and former Assemblyman John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) are considered the early front-runners in the race.

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