Notably missing from the lists of Assembly leadership and committee-chair assignments sent out in recent weeks was Assemblywoman Nora Campos.
Campos, D-San Jose, who has just been sworn in for her third term, had served from August 2012 through this month as the Assembly’s speaker pro tempore, a leadership position in which she presided over floor sessions on the speaker’s behalf.
But when new Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, rolled out her leadership team Nov. 25, she named Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, as speaker pro tempore and freshman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, as assistant speaker pro tempore. And when Atkins named committee chairs Dec. 3, Campos’ name wasn’t on that list, either.
Campos’ tenure hasn’t been without blemishes. San Jose Inside reported earlier this year that she has developed a reputation as being abusive toward her staff, which allegedly has made it hard for her to recruit and retain aides.
Atkins’ office declined to comment Monday. But an Assembly staffer familiar with the situation said the decision had nothing to do with Campos’ office, which apparently has stabilized significantly this year.
“It’s more about what the Speaker wanted, and I think there were some members that were not that happy with her (Campos) presiding – they didn’t think she was the best spokesperson for the Assembly,” the staffer said, adding that once the decision had been made to replace Campos with Mullin, “there really wasn’t anyplace else to put her.”
Campos most likely will get some new, better committee assignments so that she can pursue some issues in which she has shown special interest, the staffer added.
Campos spokesman Steve Harmon said she’s happy with her lot.
“To her, it’s never been about being the face of the Assembly or a big-shot title. It has always been about her doing work. And, although it was an honor, she was far less concerned with titles and focused on the work and the legacy she leaves behind,” Harmon said Monday. “She enjoyed serving as Speaker pro Tem, but wanted to move forward to meet new challenges. She’s taken up an important role on the Assembly Rules committee, and is now using the freedom and flexibility of building relationships with her colleagues to champion issues that are important to her.”