Republican colleagues have unanimously elected state Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, as California’s Senate Republican leader-elect, the senator announced Wednesday.
Wilk will replace Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, after the GOP caucus voted her out of the role, which is considered the second-most powerful position in the Senate. The official transition is expected to take place sometime in mid-February, according to Wilk spokeswoman Eileen Ricker.
“Thank you to my colleagues for their faith in my vision for leading our caucus. California is facing unprecedented challenges and Senate Republicans stand ready with solutions,” said Wilk in a prepared statement. “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.”
Voters re-elected Wilk for a second term in the state’s 21st Senate District, which includes the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys and part of San Bernardino County, in November 2020. Last month he was also appointed vice chair of the Senate Education and Governmental Organization and Rules committees. Additionally, he will serve as a member of the committees on Budget and Fiscal Review, Business and Professions, Energy and Transportation. He will also be a member of the Joint Committee on Art and Entertainment and the Joint Committee on Rules.
The senator has focused on addressing issues associated with the pandemic, including reforms at the state Employment Development Department.
“Senate Republicans stand united in putting the middle back in middle class by improving the economic opportunities for all Californians, restoring faith in government and ensuring our children and families receive the support they need to succeed,” said Wilk. “Republicans have tirelessly advocated for reforms at EDD, science-based approaches to curbing the spread of COVID, help for those impacted by shutdowns and streamlined approaches to both COVID testing and vaccination rollouts but much is left to be done.”
Grove is expected to resume her role as the senator of the 16th District. In a prepared statement, she said Wilk “will do an outstanding job leading the caucus as we face the many challenges that lie ahead.”