California Senate Republican leader Bob Dutton to step down
Senate Minority leader Bob Dutton of Rancho Cucamonga announced Friday that he will step down after the Republican caucus chooses a new leader in January.
Sen. Bob Huff of Diamond Bar said he is confident he has lined up enough support to become the next leader, but said it will be up to the caucus to vote.
Dutton, who is prevented by term limits from running for reelection in 2012, said "now is the right and logical time" for the caucus to choose a new leader.
"Much of the focus for the new leader will be, once again, dealing with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit in 2012," Dutton said in a statement.
Huff said he is not discouraged by the budget challenge. "As difficult as the budget situation has been, the economy is turning around,'' he said in a phone interview. "Our biggest challenge is not to step on the recovery.''
-- Patrick McGreevy, reporting from Sacramento
Photo: Sen. Bob Dutton, left, discusses pension reform at a Capitol news conference in November. With him is state Sen. Tom Harman. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press