Assemblyman Herb Conaway suggested Assemblyman Jamel Holley’s opposition to a bill eliminating a religious vaccination exemption wasn’t winning him any friends in the legislature’s lower chamber.
“You said that, not me. But you’d be right,” said Conaway, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee.
Holley has been the vaccine bill’s chief opponent in the Assembly.
He lobbied members of the Legislative Black Caucus against an amended version of the bill that lawmakers aimed to pass the day before the end of the lame duck session. That bill failed to win enough support in the Senate.
Last week, prominent anti-vaccine activist Robert Kennedy held a fundraiser for Holley and met with members of the LBC to discuss anti-vaxx arguments.
It’s not yet clear whether Holley’s opposition to the vaccine bill will affect his chances at re-election, but a dissatisfied leadership team could complicate the contest.
“Well, let me just say that it is unusual for someone to come out against the held and demonstrated stance of the presiding officer in his house and the majority of the members in the house of which he serves,” Conaway said. “As to re-election, I have no comment on that, but I would just say his actions are rare. I wouldn’t say they’re unprecedented, but they are rare.”
Any real challenge would come during a primary.