Assembly GOP picks leader from Southern California

Republicans in the state Assembly have chosen a Southern California lawmaker to lead them this year.

The 28-member minority caucus selected Assemblyman Martin Garrick of Carlsbad on Tuesday. He will replace Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo, who will be termed out this year.

Garrick says he wants to reform state government, put people back to work and get the state's $20 billion budget deficit under control.

Garrick, who is 56, will be termed out of the 80-member Assembly in 2012. He most recently served as assistant Assembly Republican leader.

He began his political career working for President Ronald Reagan, first on the White House transition team and later as the administration's deputy Senate-House liaison.