On Tuesday, January 21, news released that majority leader Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) had enough support from Democratic colleagues to become the new speaker of the California General Assembly. This means Atkins will succeed John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) and increase the influence Southern California has in the California Legislature.
In a closed-door meeting of Assembly Democrats on Wednesday, it was decided that Atkins would indeed become the new speaker. She has unanimous support from the Democratic caucus. There is no evidence that Republican members participated in the process.
There will be a transition period before the matter goes to the Assembly floor for a final vote.
From Atkins’ office:
(Sacramento) Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins of San Diego has been chosen by her Assembly Democratic colleagues to succeed Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez as the next Speaker of the Assembly.
“I am humbled, grateful, and ready to get to work,” says Atkins. “From the drought we are experiencing to ensuring a healthy business climate and a world class educational system, California is facing important issues in the near future. I look forward to leading the State Assembly in working with the Senate and the Governor to meet our challenges and to move our great state forward. I thank my Assembly colleagues for their confidence and support.
I also am very grateful to Speaker Pérez for his support and mentorship and I look forward to working with him on a smooth transition.”
With her selection as Speaker, Atkins becomes only the second Democratic woman and second member of the LGBT community to hold the post. As Majority Leader, she is already responsible for the day to day operation of the Assembly Floor and has served as a member of Speaker Perez’s leadership team.
Atkins represents a coastal San Diego district and was elected to the Assembly in 2010 following eight years on the San Diego City Council.
# # #
— Speaker John A Pérez (@SpeakerPerez) January 22, 2014