By Ashley Zavala
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Assemblyman-elect Joshua Hoover is preparing to step into his new role at the state Capitol, the building where he's worked as a legislative aide for 11 years. He'll be sworn in on Dec. 5.
"I'm really excited to get to work, this is the community I grew up in, it's the community that I've lived in most of my life, it's the community I met my wife in, so I'm super excited to have the opportunity to represent it in the legislature," he told KCRA 3 on Wednesday.
Hoover pulled off an upset for Republicans to represent the 7th Assembly district encompassing the suburbs of Sacramento. He defeated the Democratic incumbent, Ken Cooley. Cooley had served five terms after first being elected in 2012. KCRA 3 reached out to Cooley's campaign and office for an interview but did not receive a response as of Wednesday night.
Hoover said he talked to him on the phone Tuesday night.
"He was very gracious in defeat, congratulated me on my victory, gave me some really kind words of wisdom, and I think really showed how you hand off something like this," Hoover said. "I think we both really have a deep respect for the institution, we have a really deep respect for the gravity of this office."
Hoover said he thinks there are a lot of factors that lead to Cooley's loss, noting the rise in homelessness in Sacramento over the last three years, coupled with crime and affordability issues.
"That's why we focused on that, and those are the issues I want to fix," he said.
Hoover most recently worked in Assemblyman, now Congressman-elect, Kevin Kiley's office. Hoover noted Kiley's district and his are different, with different demographics and different issues.
"Kevin Kiley is a fantastic example of what it means to be a voice for the people," Hoover said. "I owe him a lot of respect and gratitude for him supporting me into this role."
Hoover will start his term as an assemblyman sooner than usual. Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday night officially signed a proclamation that will require lawmakers to begin work in Sacramento next week for a special legislative session.
The governor has asked them to consider a penalty on oil companies when profits are excessive.
"I'm strongly opposed to another tax that will ultimately be passed onto consumers," Hoover said, noting he supports cutting the state's gas tax and reviewing the state's strict regulations on the oil and gas industry.
Another issue in which Hoover will likely get involved: is the state Capitol annex project Cooley oversaw. Hoover said he won't be the one overseeing the project now in Cooley's place, but noted he'd like to make changes to the plan to make it less expensive for taxpayers.
He also takes issue with the project's expansion that would take over the west side of the state Capitol, which has long been the primary space for protests outside of the building.
"It's no longer going to be this place where groups can gather and make their voice heard, I really don’t like that part of the project," he said.
Hoover joins a class of new, Republican faces slated to represent the Sacramento area in the state legislature, including Assemblyman-elect Joe Patterson and State Sen.-elect Roger Niello.
"I do think we will be able to provide that voice for common sense policies in California," Hoover said.