Governor Newsom names Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris in US Senate

Alex Padilla was appointed to the United States Senate on Dec. 22 by Governor Gavin Newsom. If he wants to keep his seat in the Senate, he will have to win the vote in 2022.

Alex Padilla was appointed to the United States Senate on Dec. 22 by Governor Gavin Newsom. If he wants to keep his seat in the Senate, he will have to win the vote in 2022.

Vincent Medina

Governor Gavin Newsom has named California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris in the United States Senate.

 

In an emotional Zoom call, Newsom announced his decision on Dec. 22, where he formally asked Padilla to serve the remainder of Harris’ term in the senate.

 

“I’m honored, man,” said a teary-eyed Padilla during the video call with Newsom. “I’m humbled.”

 

Padilla will serve as the first Latino senator from California.

 

Padilla’s family emigrated from Mexico to Pacoima, California, where his father worked as a short-order cook and his mother cleaned houses.

 

Padilla graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

 

He was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1999, at the age of 26. In 2001, he was elected to serve as council president.

 

Padilla would serve as president for three terms, the youngest person and first Latino to hold the position.

 

He also served as acting mayor during the Sept. 11, 2001 attack. He worked with Police Chief Bratton to approve LA Live and modernize Los Angeles International Airport.

 

Padilla was elected to the California State Senate in 2006 and was reelected in 2010. As a senator, he authorized the law requiring chain restaurants in California to post calorie information on the menu. “Menu Labeling” later became national policy and was included in the Affordable Care Act.

 

He also authorized legislation to help construct a new convention center and carbon-neutral sports stadium in Los Angeles. These acts had the potential to create nearly 20,000 jobs.

 

Padilla was sworn in as California Secretary of State in 2015 and has worked to increase voter registration and protect the integrity of the 2020 election.

 

In October 2020, when the California Republican Party established unofficial ballot boxes, Padilla ordered them to be removed. He ruled that the Republicans’ actions were against the law.

 

If Padilla wishes to continue serving as a United States Senator, he will have to win California’s vote in 2022.