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California to have 4 (acting) governors in 4 days

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POSTED July 25, 2014 7:40 p.m.

SACRAMENTO (AP) — California will have four governors in four days next week as top officials take turns temporarily leaving the state.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s office informed other state leaders Friday that he will leave the state Sunday and return Wednesday as he leads a trade mission to Mexico.

While he’s gone, executive powers will first roll to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, until Newsom leaves Tuesday for Special Olympics-related events in New York and Washington, D.C.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will then be acting governor for nearly 24 hours, until he leaves for Chicago on Wednesday on personal business.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins will then be acting governor for about nine hours, until Brown returns from Mexico later that day.

All four are Democrats.

The succession is outlined in the state Constitution.

It will be the first time that Atkins is acting governor, but not the first time that California has had a woman as acting governor. March Fong Eu, who was secretary of state, briefly served as acting governor in 1976 when Brown and three other state leaders all left at the same time.

While acting governors generally assume a caretaker role, they sometimes are called upon to take official actions.

For instance, the last time Steinberg was acting governor, in August, he issued an emergency proclamation due to the effects of the Rim Fire that was burning near Yosemite National Park.

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