Sacramento — Santee Assemblyman Brian Jones has been promoted within the GOP caucus, taking a post held by a fellow Republican who stepped down after angering the ranks with his vote to raise a tax to pay for middle class college scholarships.
Jones, in his first term and up for re-election in November, will serve as the Republican caucus Chair. In that position, he guides GOP policy and elections strategies.
“The one thing Republicans have been able to accomplish these past two years is standing firm on taxes,” Jones said in an interview Friday. “Part of my responsibility as caucus chair is to make sure we stay true to that message.”
Assemblyman Brian Nestande of Palm Desert stepped down from the caucus position after he and Independent Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher of San Diego on Monday teamed to help Democrats pass by a two-thirds vote legislation that would increase taxes on some out-of-state corporations to raise revenues to provide college scholarships to middle-class families.
Neither Jones nor Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway of Tulare addressed Nestande’s decision directly.
“As Republicans continue to serve as the last line of defense for California taxpayers, it is imperative that we stand united in our goal: to get more Californians working again,” Conway said in a statement announcing Jones’ elevation.
“Brian Jones is a strong and principled leader for our caucus,” she added.
The move could be another step toward Jones eventually taking over as leader of Assembly Republicans.