During his time as minority leader in the California state Assembly, Chad Mayes worked to reshape the image of the Republican party within the state and beyond, away from some of the current administration's hard-line views on topics such as immigration and climate change.
In August of 2017, his support for the cap-n-trade program was the final straw for many Republicans in Sacramento, costing him his role as minority leader in the state Assembly. But Mayes is not ready to back down just yet.
Mayes office is planning to announce more details about "New Way California," an organization designed to promote what his office considers "true Republican values," at a press conference on Tuesday. Mayes claimed several prominent Republicans within its ranks, including 'Governator' Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Mayes and Schwarzenegger have publicly exchanged pleasantries on Twitter in the past, causing many hard-line Republicans to express their adamant discontent. On Twitter, the two were repeatedly accused of being 'RINOs' – Republicans In Name Only.
The two California Republicans share similar views on the state of the Republican party, a topic Schwarzenegger has been especially vocal about.
In a 2007 speech at the California Republican Convention, Schwarzenegger expressed concerns about the future of his party within the state. "In movie terms, we would say: We're dying at the box office," Schwarzenegger said in his speech.
In September of 2017, Schwarzenegger shared a video of this speech on his YouTube account, using the description to praise Mayes. "Exactly 10 years ago, I gave this speech to the California Republican Party," the video description reads. "I'm proud that Republican leaders like Assemblyman Chad Mayes and some of his colleagues are moving in the right direction, and they give me hope today."
Since the end of his term as governor in 2011, Schwarzenegger remained active in the political sphere by speaking up against political practices he disagreed with, such as gerrymandering. "Arnold never left politics," said Daniel Ketchell, Schwarzenegger's chief of staff.
"The concerns, he's had since that speech in 2007, and I think in many ways it's gotten worse," Ketchell said.
After the vote on cap-and-trade in 2017, Schwarzenegger felt reassured of Mayes commitment to reform the Republican party in California which spurred their collaboration on New Way California," Ketchell said.
"He's seen Chad and other California Republicans as a chance to change the course of the party and show that it can work for all Californians," Ketchell described Schwarzenegger's objective.
In the context of an administration that has pushed more radical positions on issues such as immigration and climate change, Schwarzenegger will now be stepping up his political activism once more.
"Arnold is very excited for New Way," Ketchell said.