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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's pick for Lt. Governor, moderate Republican state Sen. Abel Maldonado, was rejected Thursday by the California Assembly. His nomination had passed muster earlier with the state senate, but Maldonado could only garner 36 and then 37 of 41 needed votes in the assembly.
Because the assembly had also failed to muster 41 votes against Maldonado, however, Schwarzenegger's people said his nomination was still alive.
Maldonado's candidacy was opposed by leading Democrats in the assembly. Earlier in the day Schwarzenegger praised members of the senate for backing his man from Santa Maria.
"I applaud the California State Senate for showing bipartisan leadership today and confirming Senator Abel Maldonado as Lieutenant Governor," the governor stated. "Senator Maldonado has been a dedicated public servant and I urge the Assembly to follow suit and confirm his nomination immediately so the legislature can get back to focusing on creating jobs, solving our budget crisis and addressing the other critical issues that face California."