Atkins praised McGuire in a statement, calling him a “real team player.” McGuire responded in kind, saying, “everything we have done throughout this transition has been in partnership.”
McGuire’s leadership stint will be brief — no more than 2½ years since he’s termed out in 2026. The moderate North Coast Democrat has been quietly negotiating a transition with Atkins in recent months.
Atkins, the first woman and openly gay lawmaker to lead the Senate, is termed out after next year and has said she’s considering running for governor in 2026.
The incoming pro tem — who represents a sprawling district that stretches from Marin County to the Oregon border — has been a member of Atkins’ leadership team as the chamber’s majority leader since 2022, a role that often has him conducting traffic on the Senate floor.
Monday’s email to Senate staffers included a photo of Atkins and McGuire standing side-by-side on the Senate floor, underscoring the smooth nature of the transition.