This week, it was announced that Senator Mike McGuire had secured the necessary support to be elected Senate President pro Tem (replacing Toni Atkins) in January. Some questions that folks might be wondering about.
When did a Senator from McGuire’s area last lead the State Senate?
Senator Mike McGuire is from Sonoma County. The last Senate Pro Tem from Sonoma was Benjamin F. Tuttle in 1876. The only other Senate pro Tem from his district was in 1866, when Stephen P. Wright (representing Del Norte and Humbolt counties) served as Senate President pro Tem.
McGuire is in his mid-40s. How does that compare with the ages of other recent pro Tems?
It appears that McGuire will be the youngest new Senate pro Tem since David Roberti in 1980. However, the legislature tended to be much younger in the earlier years of our history and we’ve had four Senate President pro Tems who started serving in their 20s and another ten who started in their 30s. The youngest Senate President pro Tem was Delos R. Ashley (age 27 in 1856) while the oldest was Jack Schrade (age 67 in 1970). McGuire will be the 22nd youngest of 48 total individuals to serve as Senate pro Tem.
NOTE: It’s also worth noting that we don’t know the birthdate for one of the 48 pro Tems.
McGuire never served in the State Assembly. Is that unusual for a Senate pro Tem?
Most recent pro Tems have indeed served in the State Assembly. In fact, there’s a good chance that even the most astute Capitol observers will have trouble remembering the last Senate pro Tem who didn’t serve in the Assembly. The most recent was Senator Howard Way, who served as pro Tem in 1969-1970. Before Way, it was Senator Ben Hulse in 1955.
When was the last time that neither of the leaders of the legislature (Assembly Speaker and Senate pro Tem) were from Los Angeles or San Francisco?
When was the last time that both of the leaders of the legislature (Assembly Speaker and Senate pro Tem) were from northern California?
Bonus Round! There are currently seven living current and former Senate President pro Tems:
David A. Roberti
John L. Burton
Kevin De León
Toni G. Atkins