Toni Atkins, a longtime San Diego politician, will soon become California’s first-ever female and LGBT state Senate president pro tem. Atkins is expected to take over the reins from Sen. Kevin de Leon this Wednesday.

Atkins, 55, has served in the state Legislature since 2010. The Democrat’s rise in politics began on the City Council where she served for eight years.

Atkins told the Associated Press “her early work will be focused on running the Senate, including developing a process to deal with sexual harassment allegations. Other efforts to put her stamp on the Senate, like reshuffling committee assignments, will come later.”

Atkins is a favorite among California Democrats who also named her Speaker of the Assembly in 2014.

Full story at La Jolla Patch.

Atkins was clinical director of Womancare abortion clinic before holding elective office:

Elected to the State Senate in 2016 after serving as Speaker of the California State Assembly, Senator Toni G. Atkins represents the 39th Senate District, which includes the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach.

Prior to state elective office, Senator Atkins worked as director of clinic services at Womancare Health Center [abortion clinic] and later as a member of the San Diego City Council.

She lives in the South Park/Golden Hill community of San Diego with her spouse Jennifer LeSar and their dogs, Haley and Joey.

Full story at