California Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins of San Diego is reportedly considering a campaign for governor in 2026.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that Atkins, a former City Councilmember, state Assemblymember and Speaker of the Assembly, is “seriously” considering entering the race to succeed Gavin Newsom after his second term ends.
Atkins, 61, is the first woman to lead the state Senate, and the first to lead both chambers of the California Legislature. She will step down as Senate leader early next year, which will be her last under term limits.
Three other candidates have already formally announced: Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Controller Betty Yee.
Atkins, a Democrat, is one of eight members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. She lives in South Park with her spouse, Jennifer LeSar