State Sen. Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) was unanimously elected Tuesday by her Democratic colleagues to take over as the next president pro tempore of the Senate on March 21.
Atkins replaces Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) as senate leader. He is running for the U.S. Senate.
De León described Atkins as “a person of vast experience and unimpeachable integrity,” and said he is proud that the state senate will be led for the first time by a woman and member of the LGBTQ community.
Atkins, 55, issued a statement that did not specifically mention some of the challenges she will face, including the fact that two male, Democratic senators are under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment.
“Leading this great state senate and our united and always productive caucus at this crucial moment in history is an extraordinary opportunity and a great responsibility — and I believe every senator has a vital role in building a brighter future for the Californians we represent,” Atkins said.