The Gaineses are the only husband-and-wife lawmakers currently serving in the Legislature, but others in recent years have included Republicans George and Sharon Runner of Lancaster, Republicans Tony and Audra Strickland of Moorpark, and Democrats Judy Chu and Mike Eng of Monterey Park.
Beth Gaines, a first-time candidate who has worked as a marketing consultant for a family-run insurance firm, will represent an Assembly district covering Alpine County and parts of Placer, El Dorado and Sacramento counties.
Gaines defeated Democrat Dennis Campanale, a retired firefighter, by about 11 percentage points in a special election this month in District 4, which tilts decidedly to the right.
The Roseville Republican supports a cuts-based approach to solving the state's budget crisis and has vowed to oppose extending income, sales and vehicle taxes that are due to expire this summer.
The District 4 seat has been vacant since January, when Ted Gaines won a special election for the District 1 Senate seat previously held by longtime legislator Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, who died last July.
PHOTO CAPTION: Beth Gaines is applauded by assembly members as she walks with her husband, Senator Ted Gaines before she is sworn into the Assembly on Thursday, May 12, 2011. Randy Pench/ Sacramento Bee