Mayes To Lead GOP Assembly Caucus

Chad Mayes, the former mayor of Yucca Valley who was elected to the California Assembly last year, was selected as leader-elect for the Republican Caucus in the state Assembly Tuesday.
Mayes will transition fully into the position on January 4, 2016 when the California Legislature reconvenes after the Christmas/New Years holiday. In the meantime, he will on certain days shadow current Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, of Modesto, to become acclimated to the duties he is to accept.
Mayes has moved quickly since coming to Sacramento, and already serves as the chief Republican whip on the floor of the state Assembly.
Mayes has been both propelled forward and held back by his conservative Republican, Bible-thumping ideology. He is the son of Roger Mayes, the pastor of the second largest church in Yucca Valley. Together with Jarel Hagerman, the pastor of the largest church in Yucca Valley, Roger Mayes is one of the most influential members of the Yucca Valley community. His influence has been key to his son’s political ascendancy.
Though Yucca Valley is the second-most impoverished incorporated municipality in San Bernardino County, it is decidedly Republican-leaning. By tapping into the Hagerman/Mayes conservative Christian political movement, Chad Mayes quickly vaulted to the top of the political heap in the town of 20,700. He holds conservative credentials in his own right, having graduated from the fundamentalist Christian college Liberty University with a bachelor of science in government. He was hired by San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford in 2011 to serve as her chief of staff in the county’s Second District, which is far removed from Yucca Valley.
His embrace of conservative Republican values, which eschew big government and big government mandates, resulted in the town of Yucca Valley resisting calls by the California Water Resources Board to end the town’s dependence on septic systems and construct a modern sewer system. Lampooning the state effort as an “unfunded government mandate,” the community collectively convinced itself it could ignore the state request, and next May the town is scheduled to be subjected to penalties if the sewer system is not in place or well on the way to completion by that time.
Mayes’ anti-government regulation ethos puts him out of tune with the general flow in Democrat-controlled Sacramento. His political stances have earned him election to public office over and over again, but have compromised his effectiveness, given the larger political context within which he now must function.
Mayes is considered a protégé of Paul Cook, a retired Marine colonel, who was Yucca Valley mayor and then held the assembly seat now occupied by Mayes. Cook is now a U.S. Congressman. In 2004, Mayes and Cook voted against a proposed 42-percent pay increase for town elected officials. In Mayes’ final budget as mayor, Yucca Valley spent $8.7 million, a slight decrease from the previous year, and had over $5 million in reserves.
Despite his strong identity as a Republican, Mayes has had some success at crafting bills that obtain bipartisan support. He introduced AB 851, which provides an orderly process for municipal disincorporation; AB 1286, which would create a body to examine the state’s regulatory environment; and AB 1202, which would have reduced the California State Fire Prevention Fee for residents who also pay for fire prevention at the local level. All three bills received unanimous bi-partisan support in their policy committee hearings.
In a statement, Mayes said, “I am humbled by my colleagues’ confidence in my ability to lead the caucus. I plan to build upon Kristin’s vision of bringing the caucus and its supporting operations into the 21st Century. I look forward to partnering with her over the next few months to ensure a seamless transition and to chart a path towards policies that will improve the quality of life for all Californians.”

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