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Dennis Clark Hollingsworth (born January 12, 1967, in Hemet, Californiamarker) is a Republican politician from the state of Californiamarker, currently serving as the California State Senate Republican Leader, representing District 36, northwest San Diego Countymarker and southwest Riverside Countymarker.

Background

Hollingsworth attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispomarker and Cornell Universitymarker where he studied Dairy Science, Agricultural Management and International Relations. He was a business owner and Legislative Director for the Riverside County Farm Bureau prior to his election to the State Legislature. Hollingsworth is an avid hunter and past state chairman of Quail Unlimited.

Hollingsworth lives in Murrietamarker with his wife, Natalie, and two sons.

Political Career

Hollingsworth was elected to the California State Assembly in 2000 and the State Senate in 2002.

In 2006, he authored a resolution to replace the statue of Thomas Starr King, a Unitarian minister who worked to keep California in the Union during the American Civil War, with one of Ronald Reagan in Statuary Hall. One of his reasons was that he had never heard of King, and felt that someone more widely known should represent California. Hollingsworth also believed that the King statue would serve a better educational purpose being placed in the state capital. The bill passed on August 31, 2006.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of February 18, 2009, after several days of late-night, contentious debates over closing a $42 billion gap in the state budget, Senate Republicans met in caucus where they voted to replace State Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill with Hollingsworth. It was believed by many within the caucus that Cogdill had not led effectively when he presented a budget with $14 billion in tax increases to his caucus after every member had signed a pledge to vote against a budget with such increases.

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