Just days after tweeting a false claim about this month’s mob storming of the U.S. Capitol, state Sen. Shannon Grove of Bakersfield, a staunch supporter of former President Trump, was replaced Wednesday as the leader of the California Senate Republicans after having served in the position for two years.
Grove will be succeeded by state Sen. Scott Wilk of Santa Clarita. Her ouster as leader by the Senate Republican Caucus came after two of its 11 seats changed hands in the November election.
Lara Korte at The Sacramento Bee:
Robb Korinke of GrassrootsLab, who tracks California local government, said the number of Republicans winning city and county seats declined in recent years.
Previously, it wasn’t uncommon for Californians to vote Democratic in national and statewide elections while electing Republicans to their local councils. But that’s changed within the last decade.
“There were many of those, six or eight years ago, dozens of cities that were Democratic majority voters but had a Republican-majority council,” Korinke said. “That went away.”
California saw 607 newly elected city officials in 2020. Of those, Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one.
Winning local races is key for building the kind of name recognition and reputation that can bolster a candidate to state office. But now, in the wake of Trump, moderate Republicans are less likely to win seats in local government, Korinke said. More polarizing candidates could run for those local seats instead, but they’re unlikely to be viable at the state level.
“The brand has become so toxic at the top of the ticket that none of the people will wear it at the bottom of the ticket,” Korinke said.