Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins at the Capitol. Courtesy Atkins' office
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins at the Capitol. Courtesy Atkins’ office

Assembly speaker Toni G. Atkins, who is finishing her second and final term in the Assembly, confirmed Saturday she is planning to run against State Sen. Marty Block in 2016.

The decision to challenge another Democrat is unusual, but Atkins said that Block had promised her that he would not run for re-election.

“I intend to run. I did not know that I would be running against Marty Block,” she told Times of San Diego. “I decided not to run four years ago based on his promise.”

Atkins said she had planned an announcement later this year, but her decision was reported Saturday by the Los Angeles Times.

“The story came out and this is probably much sooner that I would have had a discussion about the 2016 race,” she said.

Block was elected in 2012 to represent the 39th Senate District, which includes most of the City of San Diego north of Route 94 and the coastal cities of Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. He told the LA Times that he had not promised he would not seek re-election.

Atkins will serve as Assembly speaker through the spring. Earlier this month Democrats in the Assembly voted in Anthony Rendon of Lakewood as her successor.

“I think I have a record of service, of success,” Atkins said, adding that she looks forward to running on her record.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.