Skip to content

Toni Atkins Joins Crowded 2026 Governor’s Race

Governor Newsom Executive Order

President Pro Tem of the State Senate Toni Atkins has announced her bid to be California's next Governor. 

The San Diego politician will join a crowded race to succeed Governor Newsom. 

Who is Toni Atkins? 

Toni Atkins has been in public office since 2000 when she was elected to the San Diego City Council. After serving for eight years, she was elected to the California Assembly and became the majority leader and speaker. 

In 2016, she was elected to the State Senate and has served as president pro tem since 2018. 

The groundbreaking state senator became the first woman and openly gay person to lead both the Assembly and State Senate. 

If she becomes Governor, she would be the first woman and openly gay person to be elected to the position. In 2014, she served as acting governor for eight hours when Jerry Brown went on a trade mission in Mexico. 

2026 Governor’s Race 

The race to replace Governor Newsom in 2026 is expected to have a large field of candidates. 

As of right now, there have been four people who have announced their candidacy: 

  • Lieutenant Governor Elani Kounalakis 
  • Former California State Controller Betty Yee 
  • California State Superintendent of Public Institution Tony Thurmond 
  • State Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins 

However, many other potential candidates have expressed interest including Rick Caruso, former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Attorney General Rob Bonta. 

With California having an interesting future amid budget shortfalls, a changing transportation and energy sector, and more, the Governor’s race will be highly consequential. 

We’ll make sure to update you on the latest of the 2026 Governor’s race. 

Until then, keep up with BOMA on the Frontline for the latest news in the Greater Los Angeles Area.  

Subscribe to Our Newsletter