California Governor Gavin Newsom Appoints Secretary of State Alex Padilla to Replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in US Senate
Padilla will be the first Latinx Senator to represent California.
Washington, DC – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will become the first Latinx person to represent California in the United States Senate after Governor Gavin Newsom announced his appointment to the seat being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Padilla will serve out the two remaining years in Harris’ term. With a population that is nearly 40% Latinx, California has been significantly out-of-step in its representation of the Latinx community in Washington. Padilla will be only the tenth Latinx person to serve in the United States Senate.
“Congratulations to Senator Padilla for this landmark moment in our community and country’s history,” said María Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino. “A sincere congratulations as well to Governor Newsom for his progressive decision to give voice and representation to California’s Latinx community. Only 26 years removed from Prop 187, tens of millions of Latinxs in California finally have a Senator with an intimate understanding of their lives and struggles.”
Padilla has been a noted leader in California particularly on election security and modernization issues and education reform. During his tenure as Secretary of State, California has registered more than four million new voters through an automatic voter registration program supported and implemented by Padilla. Born to immigrant parents, Padilla was motivated towards public service by the debate around and passage of Prop 187, a 1994 state ballot initiative that threatened to deprive undocumented Americans of their constitutional rights and access to public services.
Voto Latino publicly supported Padilla’s appointment and engaged with the Governor on this critical decision.
Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. Through innovative digital campaigns, culturally relevant programs and authentic voices, we shepherd the Latinx community towards the full realization of its political power.