Senate Republicans Elevate New Leader Earlier Than Expected

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Republicans in the state Senate have elevated a new minority leader, months ahead of schedule. Sen. Jean Fuller of Bakersfield took over Thursday, becoming the Senate's first woman Republican leader. She was elected leader in February, but Republicans said then that Bob Huff of San Dimas would remain leader until November. Fuller cited Huff's campaign to become a Los Angeles County supervisor when he is termed out of office next year as the reason for her early ascendency. She takes command with two weeks left before lawmakers complete their work for the year. Fuller says her goals are to win more Republican Senate seats and to oppose taxes. Democrats are proposing tax increases for transportation and health care. Fuller joined the Legislature in 2006 and can serve through 2018.