State Senate Pro Tempore Is Considering Run For California Governor In 2026

The first lesbian leader of the California Senate is thinking about trying to make history again — with a run for the governor’s office. Toni Atkins is stepping down as state Senate president pro tempore early next year. She told The Associated Press in a recent interview that she is seriously considering a run for governor in 2026. The race to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom will likely attract the Democratic Party’s top talent. That includes Atkins, who made history as the first woman and first lesbian to hold both the Senate post and the Assembly speakership. Atkins said her policies have been shaped by her impoverished upbringing in rural Virginia.