SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California has two new state senators.
Democrat Lena Gonzalez and Republican Brian Dahle took their oaths of office Wednesday after winning special elections for empty seats last week.
Their elections do not change the balance of power in the Senate, where Democrats have an overwhelming majority.
But the timing of their arrival means they take office as lawmakers prepare to vote on the annual state budget.
A former assemblyman, Dahle won a sometimes nasty race against another Republican to represent a sprawling rural district stretching across the northeast corner of the state. His election leaves a seat vacant in the state Assembly.
Gonzalez represents an urban Southern California district that includes Long Beach. She was a member of the Long Beach City Council.