Dennis Hollingsworth

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Dennis Hollingsworth
Member of the California Senate
from the 36th district
In office
December 2, 2002 – November 30, 2010
Preceded by Ray Haynes
Succeeded by Joel Anderson
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 66th district
In office
December 4, 2000 – November 30, 2002
Preceded by Bruce Thompson
Succeeded by Ray Haynes
  Minority Leader of the California State Senate
In office
February 18, 2008 – October 11, 2010
Preceded by Dave Cogdill
Succeeded by Bob Dutton
Personal details
Born (1967-01-12) January 12, 1967 (age 50)
Hemet, California
Political party Republican
Alma mater California Polytechnic State University
Cornell University

Dennis Clark Hollingsworth (born January 12, 1967 in Hemet, California) is an American politician who represented California's 36th State Senate district, which includes portions of San Diego and Riverside County, from 2002 to 2010. In 2000, Hollingsworth was elected to the Legislature as a member of the Assembly, and in 2002, Hollingsworth was elected to the Senate. Hollingsworth served as the California State Senate Minority Leader from 2008 until he termed out of the Senate in 2010. Hollingsworth's political focus included advancing conservative principles and transparency.

Hollingsworth is affiliated with the conservative group and has been instrumental in their legal battle to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage in California.[1] As such, he is the named appellant in Hollingsworth v. Perry.


Hollingsworth attended the California Polytechnic State University and Cornell University 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 Murrieta with his wife, Natalie, and two sons and one daughter.

Political career[edit]

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 the Senate and Assembly on August 31, 2006.[2]

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 as minority leader. Hollingsworth immediately repudiated a budget deal negotiated by Cogsdill because it included increases in the sales, income and gasoline taxes, saying "We should reopen negotiations and we should pass a no-tax budget."[3] The Cogdill-negotiated budget eventually passed regardless.

In 2010, Hollingsworth retired from the Senate due to term limits.[4]


  1. ^ Blum, Bill (March 15, 2013). "The Supreme Court Will Uphold Gay Marriage … Here's Why". Los Angeles CityWatch. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Senate Joint Resolution 3 (Hollingsworth, 2006)". California State Legislature. 2006. 
  3. ^ "Schwarzenegger says lawmakers resisting budget plan 'have math problem'". Los Angeles Times. February 19, 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Gardner, Michael (November 13, 2010). "GOP leader reflects on his tenure". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 20 March 2013.