Let the campaigns begin.
Democratic Reps.-elect Gloria Negrete McLeod and Juan Vargas stepped down Wednesday from the California Senate, just one day before the start of the 113th Congress.
The two will be sworn in as members of the U.S. House of Representatives today.
A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said both members had submitted their letters of resignation, which took effect later Wednesday.
Negrete McLeod, of Chino, ousted Democratic Rep. Joe Baca in the Inland Empire's 35th Congressional District.
Vargas won election in San Diego's open 51st Congressional District.
Special primary elections to fill the vacant Senate seats will be held in coming months on a date set by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Candidates so far for Negrete McLeod's 32nd Senate District seat include Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Pomona, and San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller Larry Walker.
Democratic Assemblyman Ben Hueso of San Diego, meanwhile, has announced his candidacy to succeed Vargas in the 40th Senate District.
Despite the departure for Washington, Steinberg's Senate still has 27 Democrats a supermajority in Sacramento.
Torey Van Oot
Occupy Sacramento and others gather at 10:30 a.m. today on the Capitol's north steps for an all-day rally backing a proposal to expand the state's civil rights and anti-discrimination laws to include homeless people and those with mental illness or physical disability. Democrat Tom Ammiano of San Francisco introduced his Assembly Bill 5 last month.
"Sure, we just re-elected President Obama, re-elected Sen. Dianne Feinstein, won 2/3 majorities in both houses of the state Legislature, defeated the corporate power-grab Proposition 32, passed Prop. 30 to save our schools and public safety, and picked up four seats in the U.S. Congress."
JOHN BURTON, California Democratic Party chairman, in a letter asking party donors for more money