California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León announced Thursday that the chamber is set to pick San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins as his successor, making her the first woman and first openly gay legislator to hold the leadership position, a move that is bringing praise from Democrats and Republicans alike.
De León, D-Los Angeles, said in a statement that Atkins, D-San Diego, “will make history and be our Senate’s next president pro tempore. I have every confidence she will lead America’s most accomplished legislative chamber to even greater heights and build on our extraordinary progress.”
De León said Democratic senators are unified in their support for Atkins and there will be a formal vote in early January before a transition next year. De León leaving stepping down as president to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein.