Chief Clerk of California State Assembly
The Chief Clerk of the California Assembly is a nonpartisan elected officer of the California State Assembly. The Chief Clerk serves as the chief parliamentarian of the 80-member house. The clerk is also charged with maintaining the records and votes of the Assembly, engrossing and enrolling bills, providing members with analyses of bills on third reading, amending legislation, and publishing the bills, journals, files, and histories of the lower house.
Historically, persons who have served as Chief Clerk have possessed an advanced degree when they were elected (e.g., M.A. or J.D.). 1
In California, three officers are elected every two years when the Assembly organizes: Chief Clerk, Chief Sergeant-at-Arms, and Chaplain. These officers are not members of the house and serve the legislature in a nonpartisan capacity.
The current Chief Clerk is E. Dotson Wilson, who was first elected in 1992.
This is a list of Chief Clerks of the California Assembly.
Note: to keep the numbering system correct, please note that there are instances where a clerk has had a hiatus between terms of service (e.g., J.M. Anderson is the 6th person to serve as Chief Clerk: he served 1855-56, had a 4 year hiatus, and then returned from 1860–61). So, the numbering of Chief Clerks in column one fluctuatues based upon the fact that some clerks served previously. Their original "clerk number" is retained on the left with an asterisk to indicate why it is out of numeric sequence.)
- For information about the Assembly, see California State Assembly.
- For a list of all members of the Assembly see Members of the California State Legislature
Chief Clerk Term of Service 1. E.H. Tharp 1849-1850
2. John Nugent 1850 3. George O. McMullin 1851 4. Blantin McAlpin 1852-1853
5. J.G. Stebbins 1853 4.* Blanton McAlpin 1854
*(previously served 1852-53)
6. J.M. Anderson 1855–1856 7. William Campbell 1857 8. Joseph W. Scoby 1858 9. Caleb Gilman 1859 6.* J.M. Anderson 1860-1861
*(previously served 1855-56)
10. John Sedgwick 1862 11. H.G. Worthington 1863 12. Osgood C. Wheeler 1864 13. Marcus D. Boruck 1866 14. John A. Eagon 1868 15. Robert Ferral 1870 13.* Marcus D. Boruck 1872
*(previously served 1866)
16. D.L. Loafborrow 1874 15.* Robert Ferral 1876
*(previously served 1870)
17. Robert C. Page 1878 18. C.E. Gunn 1880 19. George E. McStay 1881 20. M.C. Haley 1883 21. Frank D. Ryan 1885–1888 22. Edward E. Leake 1889 23. H.A. Mason 1891 24. George W. Peckham 1893 25. S.J. Duckworth 1895–1898 26. C.W. Kyle 1899 27. Clio Lloyd 1901–1909 28. L.B. Mallory 1911–1916 29. B.O. Boothby 1917–1920 30. Jerome B. Kavanaugh 1921 31. Arthur Ohnimus 1923–1937 32. James G. Smyth 1937–1939 33. Jack Carl Greenburg 1939–1941 31.* Arthur Ohnimus 1941-1963 4
(previously served 1923-1937) Note: Longest serving clerk in history: 37 years
34. James D. Driscoll 1963–1986 35. R. Brian Kidney 1987–1991 36. Lawrence A. Murman 1991 (acting clerk) 37. E. Dotson Wilson 1992–present
- ^1 For example: Arthur Ohnimus (J.D., St. Ignatius), James Driscoll (M.A., Claremont College) and R. Brian Kidney (M.A., University of San Francisco). Several years after he was elected Clerk, Driscoll earned a J.D. from McGeorge School of Law.
- ^2 Resigned February 1, 1850.
- ^3 Resigned February 15, 1853.
- ^4 Retired October 4, 1963.
- California's Legistlature, Appendix E, California State Legislature, Office of the Chief Clerk of the Assembly, published 2006.
- Rules of the Assembly (House Resolution 1, 2007-08 Regular Session)
- Chief Clerk's web site
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