Calif. Assembly confirms Maldonado as lieutenant governor

The California Assembly has voted to confirm Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s choice for lieutenant governor.

The nomination of Republican state Sen. Abel Maldonado now goes to the Senate, but Thursday’s vote in the Assembly was his biggest hurdle.

The chamber had rejected Maldonado earlier this year, partly because some lawmakers objected to his role in last year’s budget debate. The Santa Maria lawmaker had agreed to raise taxes only if lawmakers placed an open primary measure on this year’s ballot, which both major parties generally oppose.

Schwarzenegger had vowed to seat Maldonado anyway, prompting the threat of a legal challenge from the Assembly. He then resubmitted Maldonado’s name.

The former lieutenant governor won a seat in Congress.