Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines of Fresno has tabbed Cameron Smyth as chair of the Assembly's GOP Caucus -- the No. 2 Republican job in the Assembly.
At 37, Smyth, whose district includes about half of Simi Valley, is one of the Legislature's rising young Republican stars. The promotion could be a stepping stone for Smyth to advance to the top post, as Villines will be termed out in 2010 and Smyth is eligible to serve through 2012.
Smyth becomes the second Ventura County lawmaker in recent years to hold the post. Sen. Tony Strickland held the same position when he served in the Assembly.