Brian Jones Elected Next Senate Minority Leader as New and Returning Members Sworn In

SACRAMENTO – Today, members of the California Senate Republican Caucus unanimously voted to elect Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) as their next leader. Jones currently serves as Senate Republican Caucus Chair and succeeds Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) who was elected to the post by his colleagues in January 2021. Jones will officially take the leadership reins from current Senate Minority Leader Wilk on January 1, 2023.

“Despite strong political headwinds, we held our own in the 2022 elections. We are reaching new communities through our re-purposed Caucus communications program,” said Wilk. “I’m thankful to my Senate Republican colleagues for their support.

“As Senate Republican Caucus Chair, Senator Jones has been a valuable leader of our team and he’s ready to build upon the foundation we established. He enjoys my full confidence and I’m excited to see what he and our team is able to accomplish in the upcoming legislative session. He’s ready to lead!”

Senate Minority Leader-elect Brian Jones said, “Thank you to my colleagues for their trust in my vision to lead our caucus. Senator Wilk has been a strong leader for this caucus as he has supported us in our communication, legislative, and constituent services in important ways.

“Californians are best served by hard-working elected officials that put bipartisanship and the betterment of the community first. This philosophy is something I have always tried to adhere to in the past and I will carry over as Senate Minority Leader.

“Small businesses, middle class families, and college-bound Californians move out of state every day, with many of them never wanting or able to return because of the high cost of living, lack of affordable jobs, and increasing property and violent crime in our state. As a sign of the severity of the issue, the moving company U-Haul ran out of trucks trying to meet the demand of those fleeing California.

“It’s in situations such as this that we in the Minority Party will continue stepping up and offering alternative solutions that we think work better than the stale, big-government, Democrat Party knee-jerk standard responses.

“I, and all the members of the California Senate Republican Caucus, have our sleeves rolled up and are ready to collaborate with our colleagues across the aisle to fix California. Now let’s all get to work!”

For Leader-elect Jones’ full statement, please click here.

In addition to the Leadership election, the California Senate Republican Caucus was joined by the following new members as they were sworn in today:

  • Senator Janet Nguyen returns to the California State Senate, representing the 36th Senate District, covering portions of coastal Los Angeles and Orange counties. More recently, Senator Nguyen served in the California State Assembly from 2020-2022 and in the California State Senate from 2014-2018.
  • Senator Roger Niello represents the 6th Senate District, covering portions of Placer and Sacramento counties, and is a small business owner. Senator Niello served in the California State Assembly from 2004-2010.
  • Senator Kelly Seyarto represents the 32nd Senate District, covering portions of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. He retired as a firefighter as Battalion Chief in 2015 and most recently, Senator Seyarto represented the 67th Assembly District from 2020-2022.