Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to defy an apparent decision by the state Assembly to reject his nominee, Republican Abel Maldonado, for lieutenant governor, and swear him into the position on his own. The move will allow Maldonado to run as an incumbent in this year’s election, thereby giving him an advantage over would-be Democratic challengers, including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is reportedly mulling a run of his own for lieutenant governor.
According to the Chron, Schwarzenegger is arguing that because yesterday’s Assembly vote on Maldonado resulted in neither 40 votes for or against him, then it effectively didn’t count. But the governor’s move will surely prompt a lawsuit because Assembly rules state that nominees such as Maldonado must receive a majority of the Assembly’s membership. Democrats argue that because Maldonado only received 37 votes out of a possible 80, then his nomination failed.