Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Burbank), citing a more important need
to “unite the caucus” and end a three-way stalemate for Assembly
speaker, has withdrawn his name as a contender for the seat and is
supporting Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles).
Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach), who was the third
contender for the speaker position, has also bowed out of the race,
saying in a statement released Thursday that the majority of the
caucus was “clearly with Nunez.”
Nunez could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Frommer said late Thursday that the stalemate needed to end to get
the Assembly in order, and described Nunez as a leader capable of
uniting the Democratic caucus.
He and Oropeza agreed stepping aside was best for the party and
the institution, Frommer said, adding that he made his decision
“The Democratic Party is in a great deal of chaos after the recall
election,” Frommer said Thursday. “We have a new governor and people
are wondering how to respond. At some point, you have to make a
decision and move the process forward.”
In her statement, Oropeza said it was clear that the party support
was for Nunez.
“Clearly, a majority of the caucus backed Nunez, and I too support
him,” Oropeza said. “I am very grateful for the strong backing I have
received. I believe I have done an excellent job in championing their
Oropeza also said that she believed she had “helped pave the way”
for a woman to become the Democratic speaker.
Frommer said that Nunez’s job as Assembly speaker will not be an
easy task because Nunez will be facing a new Republican
administration under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Outgoing Assembly speaker Herb Wesson (D-Culver City), who will
leave the Legislature in December 2004 because of term limits, has
said he will step down as speaker in March.
“I think that by being the speaker, in some ways, you can
actually lose by winning,” Frommer said. “It’s a tough job.”