Toni Atkins to lead California Senate, making her its first female at the helm

By JONATHAN J. COOPER and KATHLEEN RONAYNE

SACRAMENTO — San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins was tapped Thursday by fellow state Senate Democrats to replace Kevin de Leon and become the chamber’s first female leader amid scrutiny over the Legislature’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

De Leon, who is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, announced Atkins as his successor but did not say when it will happen next year. Atkins will need to be elected by senators but that’s...

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