Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) was unanimously elected on Tuesday by the Assembly Republican Caucus to be the next Assembly Republican Leader, 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 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,” Olsen said.
Elected Assembly Minority Leader in 2010, Assemblymember Connie Conway (R-Tulare) has been the caucus’ longest-serving Leader since the enactment of term limits.
Conway said, “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. 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 stated, “I am 100 percent committed to uniting our caucus and laying out a clear vision to reconnect with voters and advance solution-focused leadership. Republicans have winning ideas and policy solutions that will revitalize our economy and attract good-paying jobs to California. Moving forward, our caucus will work together to implement a thorough and lasting structure for success. 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. 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, who has been recognized as an advocate of taxpayers, local governments, and political reform added, “We will promote and defend core Republican principles by refining our message and communicating that message to constituents and voters throughout the State in a way that makes them feel valued, empowered, and respected. We will embrace the diversity of our state: men, women, and youth of all ethnicities, geographies, and socio-economic backgrounds.”
California Republican Party Leader, Jim Brulte said, “I have known Kristin for many years. She is a hard-working, effective leader, and I am confident she will serve her caucus well and that we will complement each other’s efforts to revitalize the Republican Party across this great state. 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 overwhelmingly 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.
She was named Chief Republican Whip in her first term and has developed a reputation for reform, problem-solving, and hard work. During her time in the State Assembly, she has successfully passed reforms to environmental, education, and veterans policies in order to protect and grow jobs and facilitate educational excellence. She also has been a leader on introducing reforms to enhance government accountability and transparency, and has led by example as the first legislator to release her office budget to the public.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Westmont College in 1996 with a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies, Olsen was selected to participate in the prestigious Senate Fellowship Program, where she developed a passion for public service.
In 2012, she was selected by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation for its prestigious 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. In recognition of her hard work and legislative achievements on behalf of her constituents and rural residents, she was named Legislator of the Year in 2012 by the Regional Council of Rural Counties, throughout the State.