James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/05/2010 05:44:18 PM PST

Assemblyman Anthony Adams will not seek a third term, he announced Tuesday, putting an end to a tumultuous 11 months that saw him censured by his party, hectored by talk-radio hosts and targeted by an unsuccessful recall campaign.

Adams, R-Claremont, voted in February for a state budget package that included more than $12 billion in tax increases. That vote, which Adams called an act of courage but that opponents said broke a campaign pledge, sparked a recall drive that could have ousted Adams early this year.

“It’s a great blessing that I can leave on my own terms,” Adams said. “Having defeated the recall, I’m proud to have the opportunity to move on to new challenges and new opportunities.”

Adams, who lives in Hesperia, was first elected to the Assembly in 2006 and re-elected in 2008. Less than three months into his second term, he cast the budget vote that, at the time, he said would “probably be the end of a political career for me.”

In April, conservative groups in Orange County started a recall campaign. Radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFI’s “John and Ken Show” promoted the recall drive over the airwaves and at a few live events.

Adams said he expected the recall campaign to gather enough signatures to call for a recall election. He said he was prepared to defend his budget vote – which was made as the state faced a deficit of more than $42 billion.

“It’s easy to legislate when all is well,” Adams said.

“It’s unspeakably difficult to legislate when the world is melting down around you. I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve done.”

Mike Schroeder, a former California Republican Party chairmen and the chief architect of the recall campaign, called Adams’ announcement a late victory for the campaign, which failed to gather enough valid signatures to call for a recall election.

“In our view, this is part of the recall,” he said. “But we don’t view our job as being done. Since he lied about how he would vote on taxes, this may well be a ploy. We’re going to make sure there is one strongly funded (Republican) candidate to make sure he doesn’t reverse his position.”

Political observers said Adams could have won a third term but might not have wanted to go through what they predicted would be a tough Republican primary in June.

“It would have been a difficult and nasty campaign,” said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College. “As I tell my students, it’s important to remember that politicians are people, too. They get sick of getting beat on.”

To read entire story, click here.