Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, will take over as California Assembly Minority leader after a unanimous vote from his fellow Republican members on Tuesday.

Gallagher succeeds Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, who has served in the body since 2012. He now leads the Assembly’s 19 Republican members.

“I am grateful for the trust my colleagues have placed in me to help lead our caucus and work to better the lives of Californians up and down the state,” Gallagher said on Twitter. “Asm Waldron has been a tremendous leader winning victories throughout California. I plan to build on her legacy.”

Gallagher has spent much of his time in the Legislature railing against Democrats’ one-party-rule, particularly, the policies of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Gallagher and fellow Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, took the governor to court last year arguing he was abusing his power by implementing COVID-19-related mandates and restrictions. The court in 2021 upheld Newsom’s use of emergency powers.

Waldron in a statement said it was an honor to have led the caucus since her election in 2018.

“For the last three years, I have been laser focused on growing the Republican caucus by providing Californians an alternative to the high taxes, out-of-control crime and runaway inflation that have resulted from Democratic leadership,” she said.

California Republican Party Chair Jessica Millan Patterson praised Waldron for her work, saying she has done “a tremendous job on behalf of our Party and on behalf of our state, including growing our Assembly caucus in the 2020 elections.”

“She has my sincerest thanks for all of her hard work and service,” the chair wrote in a tweet.

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