California state Senate President Toni Atkins (L), D-San Diego, hugs Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, after he was named the successor to Atkins at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Aug. 28, 2023. Atkins said McGuire will take over as Senate Leader sometime next year. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
The California Senate will have a new leader in 2024 after the Senate Democratic Caucus selected Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) to replace Senate Pro Tem Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) Aug. 28, according to an announcement
by Ms. Atkins who terms out of office next year.
Selected as the first woman to serve as Pro Tem in 2018, Ms. Atkins also is the first senator in over 150 years to have served in that role and as Assembly Speaker.
After having worked closely with Mr. McGuire in recent years, she said she’s confident of his ability to lead and for a smooth transition.
“Senator McGuire has been a key member of my leadership team, a trusted confidant, and time after time, the convener who sets the table to get things done. The Senate and the people of California will be in good hands with Senator McGuire as their future leader of the Senate,” she stated in the announcement.
Mr. McGuire was elected to the Senate in 2014, where he has served as a majority leader since 2022. He has also played a leading role in “several leadership victories,” according to the press release, including a 2022 climate package and the infrastructure streamlining package for this fiscal year’s state budget.
“Words are not enough to express the extent of my gratitude, honor, and humility for being chosen by our united Caucus to lead the California Senate. Together, we will meet the challenges ahead with grace, courage, and determination. We will never stop fighting to make the promise of the Golden State real for every Californian,” Mr. McGuire said in the announcement.
Representing Senate District 2, which encompasses much of the state’s northern coast, Mr. McGuire has been an advocate for children in public schools, led the way in the Legislature on wildfires, and helped combat homelessness through building affordable housing in rural California, according to his biography
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a statement
, the same day, congratulated Mr. McGuire on being selected and acknowledged his accomplishments.
“Senator McGuire is a proven leader who has been a tireless champion for communities ravaged by wildfire, expanding educational opportunities, building affordable housing, addressing homelessness, and other priorities for everyday Californians. I congratulate him on this new role and look forward to the important work ahead with the Senate,” he said.
Mr. McGuire will term out of office in 2026 and is considering a run, that year, for the state’s insurance commissioner.