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Gay man bids to become California Assembly Speaker

Jessica Geen December 4, 2009

John Perez, an out gay man, is vying to become the Speaker of the California Assembly.

He would become the first openly assembly leader in America’s history if elected.

Perez is currently an Assemblyman and is a cousin of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

He has been supported by current Speaker Karen Bass and a vote may be held as early as next week if Perez can secure a majority of his caucus.

If elected, he could stay in place for five years. There is a six-limit on Assembly terms and Perez has been in his current post for one year.

His rival for the job is Assemblyman Kevin De Leon. His supporters have suggested Perez is assuming victory too early.

The role of Speaker is considered the second or third most powerful position in state politics, following the governor and the Senate president.

More: Americas

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