By JONATHAN J. COOPER
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Los Angeles Democrat Kevin de Leon says he will step aside as California's top Senate leader sometime next year after his successor is chosen in January.
De Leon says Democrats are unanimously supporting San Diego Democrat Toni Atkins to replace him as Senate President Pro Tem. Atkins was previously the Assembly speaker and would be the first woman to lead the Senate if formally elected by her colleagues.
De Leon is ramping up a campaign challenging U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat. The decision to hand power to Atkins comes as the Legislature faces scrutiny over its handling of sexual misconduct allegations.
De Leon was the first Latino in more than a century to lead a California legislative chamber.
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