Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, was unanimously selected Wednesday as Senate Republican Leader after the caucus ousted Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, who had held the post for two years.
The leadership change will take effect in a few weeks.
Grove, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, lost support within her party after posting dubious claims about the results of the Nov. 3 election and the Jan. 6 takeover of the U.S. Capitol.
The state Senate was the body in California to have its Republican membership drop in the 2020 election. Former Sens. Ling Ling Chang of Diamond Bar and John Moorlach of Costa Mesa lost their bids for re-election while Republicans gained one seat in the Assembly and four House seats.
Wilk, who narrowly won a second term, is considered a comparatively moderate member of the caucus who has voted across the aisle.
Wilk has represented the 21st Senate District, which includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Victor valleys, since 2016 and previously served four years in the Assembly.
“Thank you to my colleagues for their faith in my vision for leading our caucus,” he said in a statement released late Wednesday afternoon. “California is facing unprecedented challenges and Senate Republicans stand ready with solutions.
“For everyday Californians there is no greater priority than the pandemic — the health crisis it has created, its economic devastation and educational challenges for our students.”
Wilk also said Senate Republicans “are committed to putting the middle back in middle class by improving economic opportunities for all Californians, restoring faith in government, and ensuring our children and families receive the support they need to succeed.”
Grove called it “an honor to serve as the Senate Republican Leader and fight for Californians who far too often do not have their voices heard in the Capitol.”
“I look forward to continue working with Senator Wilk, the Republican Caucus and members of the Senate as we restore the California dream,” Grove said.