Bad timing? Assembly Republicans are shaking up their leadership

California’s Assembly Republicans are moving to oust their leader only days before Tuesday’s election, a development that could undermine GOP chances of gains in what is already a tough year.

Assembly minority leader Brian Dahle declined to comment. But in an email to Assembly Republicans obtained by CALmatters, Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher of Nicholaus wrote Thursday night that he “cannot express how disappointed and frustrated I am that this has distracted our attention these last few days.”

The email makes the issue clear: So long as Assembly Republicans fight among themselves, they’re not focused on winning the handful of races that give them a shot at success.

Assemblyman Brian Dahle. Photo by Robbie Short/CALmatters

Assemblyman Brian Dahle. Photo by Robbie Short/CALmatters

“It is the way of a permanent minority, of those who would be happy to keep the status quo as long as they can keep their piece of a smaller pie. It’s not a path to victory,” Gallagher wrote.

Gallagher’s note says the shakeup was orchestrated by “few select people and favored staff members.” He did not identify members of the new leadership team.

Assemblywoman Marie Waldron of Escondido is thought to be among the likely replacements, although Assemblyman Vince Fong of Bakersfield also is a contender.

“The sad thing is this could have all waited until after the election,” Gallagher wrote.

The Assembly minority leader’s main job is to help elect other Republicans, a tough job when party registration is below 25 percent.

Update: An earlier version misidentified the email’s sender. This also was updated to include Marie Waldron as a potential replacement for Dahle.

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