• Matt Esnayra

Newsom Picks Alex Padilla to Replace Kamala Harris in the U.S Senate

Governor Gavin Newsom has chosen California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate. Padilla is the first Latino to represent California in the Senate.

Why it matters:

  • In 2014 California became only the third U.S. state where white non-Hispanics were outnumbered by another racial or ethnic group, according to a report by Pew Research.

  • His-Story: Padilla, the son of Mexican immigrants, won a race to join the LA City Council at age 26 and earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Many top California democrats openly and secretly campaigned for Newsom's appointment to the Senate, from Rep. Barbra Lee to Katie Porter. Even Long Beach's Mayor Robert Garcia's name was floated to replace Harris.

  • Padilla is a staunch Newsom ally; worked as an aide to Feinstein and then-Assemblymember, now-Rep. Tony Cárdenas and Senator Feinstein was an early Padilla supporter, and he will hold the seat through 2022, per CNN.

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