SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) has been ousted from her role as state Senate Republican leader.
Her office confirmed Wednesday that state Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) was elected by Republican collegaues to lead the GOP caucus.
“With the start of a new legislative session, I know Senator Wilk will do an outstanding job leading the caucus as we face the many challenges that lie ahead,” Grove said. ” It has been 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,” she continued.
The move comes after the GOP lost two of its 11 state senate seats in the Nov. 3 election.
In a statement, Grove’s office said “During Senator Grove’s tenure in both the Assembly and Senate, she has secured an increase in funding for the developmentally disabled community, worked across the aisle to prevent the closure of the Barstow Veterans Home, and co-authored legislation to provide more water to the Valley with Senate Bill 559. Senator Grove authored and got signed into law Senate Bill 224 to combat agriculture theft and she is working to reform the failed state unemployment department with her legislation SB 39.”
Grove’s tenure in the past had also been marked with controversy. In 2015, she made a connection between the end of a drought in Texas and anti-abortion legislation enacted there. Almost exactly a year ago, she erroneously accused state Democrats of adding an explicit book to grade school sex education curriculum. She spoke at at least two crowded, mostly maskless worship services in defiance of the governor’s mandates to stop the spread of COVID-19. And two weeks ago, on social media, she posted — and then later deleted — a claim that Antifa had been behind the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which was carried out by trump supporters.
Wilk, a moderate Republican elected in November 2020 to a second term representing the 21st Senate District in Southern California, has been known to join with Democrats on several pieces of legislation, per the Sacramento Bee.
“Thank you to my colleagues for their faith in my vision for leading our caucus,” said Leader-elect Wilk. “California is facing unprecedented challenges and Senate Republicans stand ready with solutions.”
Grove will continue in her role as senator representing California’s 16th Senate District. Her seat will be up for election in 2022.