Fresno Democrat Perea Resigns From California Assembly
Assemblyman Henry Perea of Fresno, who has led a group of moderate Democrats in the state Legislature this year, announced Tuesday he is resigning to pursue another job, likely in the private sector.
Perea, who was elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and has a year remaining in his current term, made the announcement in a news release, saying he was pursuing other opportunities that he did not specify.
"I am currently exploring these options and I expect to make a decision soon," he said in a statement. His resignation is effective Dec. 31.
A spokeswoman for Perea, Minnie Santillan, did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking more details.
Perea's district is dominated by oil and agriculture interests and Perea led a group of business-friendly Democrats this year in opposing Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed mandate to cut the state's oil consumption in half within 15 years. The so-called "mod squad" prevailed, and the Legislature passed the climate legislation after the provision was removed.
Perea also helped craft a $7.2 billion water bond approved by voters last year, and opposed Democratic legislation creating the state's first groundwater regulations.
If he accepts a position in the private sector, Perea would join two other former state lawmakers who resigned early to make the switch. In 2013, two senators abruptly quit the Legislature to take government relations jobs — Democrat Michael Rubio for Chevron Corp. and Republican Bill Emmerson for the California Hospital Association.
California law bars legislators from directly lobbying their former colleagues for one year, but they can still work for companies and firms that do such lobbying.
Perea's resignation creates an opening in his Democratic-leaning district, where two candidates already were pursuing the seat: Democrat Joaquin Arambula, son of former state Assemblyman Juan Arambula, and Fresno City Council member Clint Olivier, a Republican.
Perea, 38, served for eight years on the Fresno City Council before his election to the Assembly.