Bill Sterling must fill a vacancy left by the death of an incumbent.
Senator Sterling fields questions during his first official press conference and against the advice of his Chief of Staff Jackie Brock responds to the dreaded drug issue, opening the flood gates for his political foes. Prompted by his son's uncomfortable appearance behind the podium former California Governor Bill Sterling Sr. heads to Washington D.C. to offer some political advice. Elsewhere, Senior Senator Jackson preys on the naÃ¯ve Sterling's admiration, asking for his endorsement on a questionable bill. Meanwhile, Tommy Doyle and Leon Montero attempt to come up with a suitable answer for the drug question.
Days after taking office, Senator Sterling is pushed by a determined Jackie to make a life-altering decision to begin his campaign for reelection. As the Senator grapples with this commitment, former chief-of-staff Arthur Peyton goes shopping for a billion-dollar Democratic candidate while the Republicans anoint a wealthy businesswoman of their own to run in California. Elsewhere, Leon struggles with his relationship with roommate Laura Chandler who is Sterling's media adversary. William Russ also stars.
Settling into his daily routine, Senator Sterling attends his first finance committee meeting only to be pulled prematurely when Jackie discovers the freshman Senator is unknowingly footing the bill for his luxury hotel suite. Meanwhile, Tommy councils Sterling on a bill regarding the missile-defense shield - and the Senator's "no" vote could cost thousands of jobs for his California constituents.
Senator Sterling finds himself battling the Immigration and Naturalization Service when he attempts to help a member of his office's janitorial staff re-enter the country after she travels to Guatemala for her mother's funeral. Meanwhile, frustrated by the continuous debate over increasing the minimum wage, the Senator breaks protocol -- against the advice of Tommy -- in the hopes of forcing a vote, and then re-examines the complexity of the federal tax forms.
Reunited with his former college roommate, Senator Sterling agrees to help his college alum win an appointment as the Assistant Secretary to the Treasury for International Affairs. However, the seemingly airtight appointment runs into trouble when the Senator's friend is unfairly pegged as an environmental racist. Elsewhere, the list of applicants campaigning for the Senator's seat grows as local billionaire George Clooney throws his hat in the ring.