State Sen. Grove named Republican leader

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

State Sen. Grove named Republican leaderNewly elected State Sen. Shannon Grove, a Republican who represents the Indian Wells Valley along with the rest of the 16th District, was unanimously elected by her peers to succeed Laguna Niguel-based Patricia Bates as the next State Senate Republican Leader.

“I congratulate Sen. Shannon Grove,” Bates said in a statement released this week. “Shannon is an experienced legislator, and I have no doubt she will be an effective messenger and leader for our caucus.”

Bates added that she will continue to work with Grove to ensure a smooth transition.

“I am humbled by the support of my Senate Republican colleagues and value the trust they have in me to lead the Republican Caucus,” said Grove. “Senator Bates has been a wonderful leader and I look forward to her counsel as we begin the leadership transition.”

Grove then outlined some of the concerns she and her constituents face in the Golden State.

“Our state is the fifth largest economy in the world, yet it holds the title of having the highest poverty rate in the nation,” she said. “For the sake of the millions of forgotten Californians, our caucus will work to navigate government with pragmatism and compassion and negotiate with fearlessness.”

Grove was first elected to the Assembly in 2010, becoming the first female veteran to serve in the California Legislature. She was sworn into the state senate in December, bringing experience in politics, military service, community advocacy and business ownership.

She also continues the precedent Kern County’s elected leaders have set by garnering the confidence of their peers.

Kevin McCarthy was immediatly elected the party whip following his election to the Assembly in 2002. He was elected Republican leader in 2004. Upon his election to the House of Representatives in 2006, he was identified early on as a leader, eventually serving as leader for his party.

He noted that the unanimous decision of Grove’s colleagues is a testament to her hard work, experience and vision.

“Having served in both the State Assembly and now the State Senate, I am confident that Shannon will be able to draw on her vast knowledge and experience as a small businesswoman and legislator to lead the Republican caucus with conviction and integrity when she assumes the position.”

State Sen. Jean Fuller, another Bakersfield Republican, was the first woman to serve as Republican leader for the California Senate, a post she was elected to in 2017. Grove will be the third consecutive woman to hold that position.

“The election of Shannon Grove by my former Senate colleagues will serve California and the 16th District well,” said Fuller. “She is a hard worker who will fight for a more affordable California and speak for creating jobs.”

Vince Fong, who follows McCarthy, Fuller and Grove as the assemblyman for most of Kern County, has also held a leadership position in his party ever since his election in 2016.

“I am excited for my friend and colleague,” said Fong. “She is a passionate and dedicated voice for Kern County, and I look forward to continuing to work with her to take on the pressing and critical challenges facing our state.”

Grove is expected to assume the leadership position on March 1.

Story First Published: 2019-01-18