Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris and become California’s first Latino senator

Washington – California Governor Gavin Newsom will appoint Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace elected Vice President Kamala Harris in the Senate, Newsom announced Tuesday. Padilla will be the first Latino senator to represent California, the most populous state in the country, which also has the largest Latino population in the country.

“His appointment will make history. But the @ AlexPadilla4CA I know is much more interested in changing history – especially for the working men and women in our state and our country. I can’t think of anyone better to help the state of California. as our next United States Senator, ”Newsom wrote on Twitter, tagging Padilla. A video in which Padilla agreed to take the position was attached to the tweet.

“I’ll make you pride and California proud by getting it done in the US Senate. We have a lot of work to do and I’m ready,” Padilla said in the video chat with Newsom.

In a statement announcing his selection, Newsom noted that Padilla is the son of immigrant parents who worked as a cook and cleaning lady.

Alex Padilla made his way from humble beginnings to the halls of MIT, Los Angeles City Council, and the state Senate, and has become a national suffrage advocate as California Secretary of State. Now he will serve in the hallways. of our country’s Capitol as the next California Senator, the first Latino to hold office, “Newsom said. “His tenacity, integrity, cleverness and persistence will bring California a proven fighter in their corner who will be a fierce ally in DC, elevating our state’s values ​​and ensuring that we secure the critical resources to emerge stronger from this pandemic will be a senator to all Californians. ”

Padilla has been Secretary of State since 2015, the first Latino to hold that position. Padilla is an old friend of Newsom.

“From those struggling to make ends meet to the small businesses fighting to keep their doors open for the health workers looking for help, please know that I’m going to the Senate to fight for you. pandemics come and go are building our economy in a way that doesn’t leave working families behind, ”Padilla said in a statement.

According to data from the US Census Bureau, there are over 15.5 million Latinos in California, or 39.4% of the state’s population. The Latino Victory Fund launched a “Pick Padilla” campaign over the summer to urge Newsom to choose the Secretary of State to replace Harris.

Some activists and lawmakers had called on Newsom to choose a black woman to replace Harris, who was only the second black woman to be elected to the Senate. Mayor of San Francisco London Breed, the first black woman to be elected mayor of that city, said the decision was “unfortunate,” according to The Associated Press.

“This is a real blow to the African American community, to African American women, to women in general, and I think it’s really challenging to put it into words,” she said.

Harris congratulated Padilla in a tweet on Tuesday.

“Happy Birthday my dear friend, AlexPadilla4CA! Alex and I have long served the people of California together, and I know he will continue to fight for our state as California’s first Latino senator, ”Harris said.

Padilla will serve Harris’s tenure, which ends in 2022, and can then run again for a full six-year term.