Rep. Toni Atkins will become the next Speaker of the California Assembly. That position is considered the second only to the Governor as the most powerful position in California politics. California is the most-populous state in the nation.
She is the first open lesbian to serve as speaker—and she takes over from the first openly gay man, current Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. The Speaker of the Assembly has often been described as the second most powerful person in state politics after the governor.
“The announcement ends months of speculation about who would take over the leadership post once Pérez leaves office at the end of 2014,” the Fresno Bee reports.
Pérez emphasized the fact that not a single member of the 55-member Democratic caucus dissented from the selection of Atkins.
“It was unanimous going into the room, it was unanimous coming out of the room,” Pérez said. “There was absolute unanimity about peoples’ support and excitement about having Ms. Atkins as the next speaker.
A formal vote will come some time in the spring, Pérez said. The timeline for Atkins formally taking over has not been fixed.
Atkins has served as Acting Mayor of San Diego, she has been a member of the San Diego City Council, a member of the California State Assembly, a member of the California State Assembly, the Majority Leader of the California State Assembly, and now the California Assembly Speaker.
A Democrat, Atkins lives in San Diego. Her partner is Jennifer LeSar.
Image via Wikipedia
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