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    Oropeza Bows Out Of Assembly Speaker Bid

    (Nov. 21, 2003) -- Ending weeks of behind the scenes wrangling, 55th district Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza (D., LB-Carson) has withdrawn her bid (reported by on Sept. 30) to become Speaker of the Assembly in the coming year, yielding to L.A. area Assemblyman Fabian Nunez.

    Assemblyman Nunez, 36, is the Democrats' Assembly whip, first elected to the Assembly in 2002. He previously served as government affairs director for the L.A. Unified School District and political director for the L.A. County Federation of Labor.

    Assemblywoman Oropeza was first elected to the CA Assembly in 2000 after serving on the LB City Council and LBUSD school board. Reelected to the Assembly in 2002, she was named chair of the Assembly budget committee, a post she held during this year's bruising budget process.

    In a written release from her office, Assemblywoman Oropeza indicated she is backing Assemblyman Nunez for Speaker and made the following comments:

  • "With my support, a clear majority of the Democratic caucus is backing Fabian Nunez to be the next Speaker. I believe heíll be an excellent Speaker."

  • "Iím very grateful for the strong backing Iíve received from my supporters and I believe Iíve done an excellent job in championing their views."

  • "I believe Iíve helped pave the way for there to someday be a woman Democratic speaker."
  • If ultimately named Speaker in a vote by the Assembly, Assemblyman Nunez will succeed current speaker Herb Wesson (D, Culver City). In recent years, the powerful Assembly Speaker's post has changed hands roughly every two years. However Assemblyman Nunez was first elected to the Assembly in 2002...meaning he could (unless he moves to higher office) serve another five years in the Assembly before encountering term limits.

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