It’s been nearly three weeks since California state Rep. Jimmy Gomez was elected to Congress. It could be even longer before he is sworn in.
Gomez’s swearing in has been delayed because he is needed at the state Capitol for a vote to expand the Golden State’s cap-and-trade program, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. It may be some time before Gomez is sworn in and the earliest could be the week of July 10, the source speculated.
The California Democrat won the special election to represent the 34th District on June 6, after former Rep. Xavier Becerra resigned in January to become the state’s Attorney General.
The LA Times reported Gomez asked House leadership to delay his swearing in until after June 15. The state’s outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown is working for a two-thirds majority of the assembly to approve the extension in order to fend off legal challenges, according to the Times.
“The governor needs Jimmy,” said the source.
The assembly rejected an extension in early June, but state lawmakers are expected to address the cap-and-trade extension again this summer, according to the LA Times. It is not clear when a vote on an extension will occur.
Gomez defeated former Los Angeles City Planning Commissioner Robert Lee Ahn in the general election. The race pitted two Democrats against one another due to California’s primary rules where the top two candidates advance to the general election regardless of party. Gomez is expected to join the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party in the House.
Until Gomez is sworn in, the staff working in the 34th District’s congressional office remain under the supervision of the House clerk.