SACRAMENTO—California Gov. Gavin Newsom named Secretary of State Alex Padilla California’s U.S. Senator to fill the term being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Padilla will thus become the first Latino U.S. Senator to represent California, Newsom’s office said.
“The son of Mexican immigrants—a cook and house cleaner—Alex Padilla worked his way from humble beginnings to the halls of MIT, the Los Angeles City Council and the State Senate, and has become a national defender of voting rights as California’s Secretary of State,” Newsom said.
Padilla was sworn in as California’s Secretary of State in 2015 and, among other things, has been a power hitter for voting rights.
“I think Governor Newsom made an historic appointment with his choice of Alex Padilla for many reasons,” said Watsonville City Councilwoman Rebecca Garcia, fresh off her stint as the city’s mayor. “In California there is a very high percentage of Latinos that contribute in vast numbers to the health of the economy, to a wealth of professions and careers, to elected officials and on and on. I do believe that the Governor understood the need for this representation, that we have a perspective that needs to be advocated for in the senate. (Padilla) has the skills that are necessary, the intelligence, and he knows how to tap resources; I am very, very pleased with the Governor’s choice.”
Padilla was born March 22, 1973, in Northeast San Fernando Valley where his father worked in restaurants and his mother was a housekeeper, according to Padilla’s website.
“Whether you voted for Biden or Trump…whether you live in the North State or the Southland…whether you grew up speaking English, Spanish, Korean or Cantonese…we are all Californians,” Padilla said. “And I intend to be a Senator for all the people. Tengo la intención de ser senador para todos los californianos.”