SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has two new state senators.
Republican Brian Dahle and Democrat Lena Gonzalez took their oaths of office Wednesday, June 12, after winning special elections for empty seats last week.
Their elections do not change the balance of power in the Senate, where Democrats have an overwhelming majority.
But the timing of their arrival means they take office as lawmakers prepare to vote on the annual state budget.
A former assemblyman, Dahle won a sometimes nasty race against another Republican to represent California Senate District 1, a sprawling rural district stretching across the northeast corner of the state. It includes El Dorado and Placer counties, among others.
The seat was held by former Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican who won a seat on the California State Board of Equalization last year.
His election leaves a seat vacant in the state Assembly.
Gonzalez represents an urban Southern California district that includes Long Beach. She was a member of the Long Beach City Council.
Tahoe Daily Tribune staff contributed to this report.