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Toni Atkins chosen next Speaker of Calif. state assembly

Atkins becomes the first out lesbian to serve as Speaker, and only the second openly LGBT person to serve in that capacity.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California state Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins of San Diego has been chosen by her Democratic colleagues to succeed Speaker John A. Pérez as the next Speaker of the Assembly.

Toni Atkins

Toni Atkins

Atkins becomes the first out lesbian to serve as Speaker, and only the second openly LGBT person to serve in that capacity. She succeeds Perez, who was the first openly gay lawmaker to hold the post.

“I am humbled, grateful, and ready to get to work,” says Atkins, in a statement.

“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,” she said.

“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 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, including a term as Acting Mayor.

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