SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Republicans in the California State Senate have ousted Senator Shannon Grove as their leader. Senator Scott Wilk from Santa Clarita will replace Grove as the new head of the Republican caucus.
Wilk says there are no hard feelings between him and Senator Grove after members of his party unanimously voted for him to take over as the new minority leader of the upper house.
“I’m going to conduct myself the way I’ve always done, and I believe my caucus will as well. I’ll support the Democrats when they’re right and oppose them when they’re wrong,” said Wilk.
Senator Wilk is one of nine GOP members in the state senate. His caucus recently lost two seats in the election under Grove’s leadership.
Grove, who’s an outspoken Trump supporter, came under fire for tweeting and later deleting that the mob who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was led by Antifa and not Trump supporters.
Wilk explains her ousting was unrelated to that incident. “That was not the issue at all, the issue was she did two years, she lost two seats. It’s an incredibly difficult job and I will tell you next to my wife, there’s no one I’d rather be in a foxhole with than Shannon Grove,” adds Wilk.
In a statement, Grove said, “With the start of a new legislative session, I know Senator Wilk will do an outstanding job leading the caucus as we face the many challenges that lie ahead.”
With the start of a new #CALeg session, I know Senator @ScottWilkCA will do an outstanding job leading the caucus as we face the challenges that lie ahead. I look forward to continuing working to restore the California dream.https://t.co/wdn2soQmfZ (2/2)— Senator Shannon Grove (@ShannonGroveCA) January 21, 2021
Wilk says he’s focused on working with Democrats and Republicans to help small businesses who’ve been hit hard by the pandemic.
“I’m the co-author of SB74, which would take part of this year’s surplus and grant it back to small businesses,” said Wilk.
The Santa Clarita native adds he also wants to work on restoring the public’s trust in government and bringing back bipartisanship.
“I grew up under Ronald Reagan, him and Tip O’Neill, the Speaker of the House would fight until five and then have a cocktail afterwards, and so we really need to kind of get back to that environment.
Wilk, who’s described by his colleagues as a moderate Republican shares he has more friends in the Democratic caucus than his own, and while his personal views lean more conservative, he says he’s committed to being a leader who will work across party lines.