Bob Huff
Bob Huff is set to take the reins as state Senate Minority Leader in January, as the current GOP leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, will step down and prepare for an Assembly run.  
The move has been planned for weeks, said Huff, R-Walnut.
"Mr. Dutton has talked about running for Assembly and this allows him to concentrate on his election," Huff said. "We have a state budget that is again out of balance and we have Senate seats to defend."
The Republican caucus is set to vote for a new minority leader Jan. 4 - eight votes wins the job.
Huff said he has pledges from eight of his state Senate colleagues. His opponent for minority leader, Joel Anderson, R-Temecula, does not have enough pledges, according to Huff.
Huff was first elected to state office in 2004 when he won a seat in the state Assembly. He has been in the state Senate since 2008. If he ascends to leader of his caucus, Huff will enter a contentious budget battle with Gov. Jerry Brown and state Democrats.
Brown has been reluctant to sit at the table with state Republicans, Huff said. And the governor doesn't need to, since voters approved a ballot measure allowing lawmakers to pass a budget with a simple majority, instead of the two-thirds vote needed in the past, Huff said.

"The voters gave the Democrats the ability to pass a budget with majority votes. (Brown) said this year he is going to do an end run around and go straight to the voters" for a tax increase, Huff said.
In California, Democrats hold overwhelming majorities in both the Assembly and Senate.
While Brown seems confident that voters will approve tax hikes aimed at balancing California's budget without slashing services, Huff said he is not so sure the electorate will sign off on those increases.

"There was polling last year this time that voters would support a tax and as we got further into the year with Republicans talking about their issues and Democrats talking about their issues, that support shrunk," Huff said.