(FOX40.COM) — The California Senate will soon have a new leader after the Democratic caucus unanimously voted for Northern California Senator Mike McGuire to be the next Senate President Pro Tempore.
McGuire has served in the legislature since 2014, representing a rural district that stretches along the coast from just north of San Francisco to the California-Oregon border.
“I feel incredibly honored,” McGuire said.
The President Pro Tempore presides over the upper house, helps set the agenda, and works directly with assembly leaders and the governor on key legislation, including the budget.
McGuire will take over the position from Senator Toni Atkins, who has been in the position for the last five years.
Atkins will remain in the role through the fall as legislators push to get their bills to the governor’s desk ahead of the mid-September deadline.
“One of the most effective leaders in California state history is our current President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins,” McGuire said. “I know I have big shoes to fill. “
“It was never my intention to serve until 2024,” Atkins said. “I think that is unrealistic, a disservice. When you care about something so much… you want to pass the torch to someone you know is going to care equally and the job as diligently, I know that with absolutely with Senator McGuire.”
The reason for the change in leadership is not clear but comes just months after a fractured Assembly Democratic caucus voted in Robert Rivas to replace longtime speaker Anthony Rendon as the leader of that body.
Both Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Republican Senate Minority Leader expressed their congratulations to McGuire and said they look forward to working with him.