On Tuesday Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) was unanimously elected to be the next Assembly Republican Leader by the Assembly Republican Caucus, and will now serve as Leader-Elect during a transition period.
“I am honored by my colleagues’ confidence in my ability to lead our Caucus, and I look forward to partnering with Connie [Conway] over the next few months to advance our policy and political goals while offering a smooth transition plan that will maximize our success in the 2014 elections and into the next legislative session,” said Olsen.
Elected Assembly Minority Leader in 2010, Assemblymember Connie Conway (R-Tulare) has been the caucus’s longest-serving Leader since the enactment of term limits.
“Olsen is a respected leader who has the skills and the stamina necessary to invigorate state-wide efforts to grow the Republican Party with a vision toward success,” said Conway. “I am committed to working alongside her and fellow leaders to ensure a smooth transition into the next legislative session.”
In discussing her goals as Leader, Olsen explained that she is committed to uniting the Republican caucus and laying out a vision to reconnect with voters to focus on solutions. Olsen believes that her party has ideas and policy solutions to help the economy and attract well-paid jobs to California.
“We will work to solve problems and convince lawmakers that the best way to improve our economy and compete with other states is by lowering taxes on individuals, families, and job creators, and passing substantive reforms to help foster a vibrant marketplace of good jobs, diverse industries, and great schools,” said Olsen. “We will stand up for taxpayers and demand fiscal responsibility from state government while working to increase transparency and accountability throughout the legislative process.”
Olsen is a self-described advocate of taxpayers, local governments, and political reform. She hopes to “promote and defend core Republican principles” by refining her party’s message and communicating that message to constituents and voters throughout the State “in a way that makes them feel valued, empowered, and respected.”
Olsen also communicated her goal to “embrace the diversity of our state: men, women, and youth of all ethnicities, geographies, and socio-economic backgrounds.”
Sharing his opinion on Olsen’s election to Assembly Republican Leader, California Republican Party Leader, Jim Brulte, explained he has known Olsen for many years and trusts her as the next Leader.
“She is a hard-working, effective leader, and I am confident she will serve her caucus well and that we will compliment each other’s efforts to revitalize the Republican Party across this great state,” said Brulte. “Transitioning from Conway to Olsen shows a solid succession plan and, together, they highlight the depth and energy of the Republican Party.”
Olsen was first elected to the California State Assembly in November 2010 and was re-elected to her second term in November 2012. She represents the 12th Assembly District, which encompasses parts of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties in California’s Central Valley. Prior to coming to Sacramento, Olsen served on the Modesto City Council from 2005 to 2009, where she stood up for “fiscal responsibility, public safety, and economic development,” according to her website. She was then named Chief Republican Whip in her first term.
During her time in the State Assembly, Olsen has successfully passed reforms to environmental, education, and veterans policies. She also has been a leader on introducing reforms to enhance government accountability and transparency, and was the first legislator to release her office budget to the public.
In 2012, Olsen was selected by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation for its Emerging Leaders Program, which brought together rising leaders, both Republicans and Democrats, from all over the United States to participate in conference at the University of Virginia. Olsen was also named Legislator of the Year in 2012 by the Regional Council of Rural Counties.