Assemblyman Chad Mayes
Hallelujah!  The 2016 election is over, and we can finally all breathe a sigh of relief. Honestly, I can’t remember an election season as dark and divisive as the one we just experienced. The mean-spirited and fear mongering tactics used by both parties brought out the worst in all of us.

I have spent the last several months pondering why so many people act like bad-mannered children in American politics. Running for office doesn’t have to be a blood sport. We can and should be civil, intelligent, and honorable in our campaigning.

If we are honest with ourselves, both Republicans and Democrats have serious problems, and much healing needs to take place within our nation.

Yet, it is also true that peoples’ perception of our country’s dominant two political parties are often incorrect. What Californians generally believe about Republicans, for example – based on a suffering national brand and reputation – is inconsistent with California Republicans’ basic principles and governing philosophy.

California Republicans want to ensure that all Californians have the opportunity to excel in today’s dynamic and evolving economy. To do that, we believe our government must operate efficiently and transparently; empowering each of us with the freedom to make our own best decisions.

California Republicans know that individuals today are connected and informed in ways unimaginable just a decade ago. We seek to lift people up by embracing a more open and flexible approach that will create a brighter future with vibrant economic growth for all; instead of a top-down economy that results in government chosen winners and losers.

The fact is, regardless of one’s personal ideology, it is critical that our state rebuild a viable two-party system where there are checks and balances against one-party rule. Just because we don’t see eye to eye on an issue doesn’t mean we can’t stand shoulder to shoulder and commit to solving problems together.

This year’s election for president exposed an undertone of frustration and anger throughout the American public. It exposed people’s exasperation with the status quo and hunger for refreshed principles, new ideas, and a healthier, better way forward. It is time for both parties to model servant leadership that seeks real solutions to our state’s many challenges. It is time to aim high and push for a truly free society that lifts and empowers each of us to achieve our dreams.

As we move forward together, we must recognize that we really do have a tremendous amount of work to do. California’s economy remains one of haves and have not’s; housing prices remain twice the national average, our education system has failed at every level, our roads and bridges are crumbling, and unnecessary regulations close off economic opportunity for too many people.

To solve these problems, we must leave the heated rhetoric of the presidential campaign behind and return to work with an open mind and a renewed sense of service, civility, and determination.

As the Assembly Republican Leader, I will continue to carry the message that California Republicans will champion solutions to open up our economy equally for all. California Republicans truly are different from the headlines people have read about the Republican Party over the past year and a half. Give us a chance to govern alongside our Democrat colleagues, and we will deliver.

By nature, I am an optimist and full of hope. Over the past year, the presidential nominees told us that our future was dark and dangerous. I didn’t believe them then and I don’t believe them now.

Yes, we have much to do as a nation and a state. But our future is brightest when we come together and put our differences aside. I’m prepared to do just that because Californians – Americans, deserve nothing less.