CALIFORNIA’S Secretary of State Alex Padilla will fill in Kamala Harris’ vacant United States Senator seat, Governor Gavin Newsom announced.
“His appointment will make history. But the @AlexPadilla4CA I know is far more interested in changing history — especially for the working men and women of our state and country,” Newsom tweeted.
Who is Alex Padilla?
Alex Padilla, 47, was born March 22, 1973 in Los Angeles.
He is one of three children of Santos and Lupe Padilla, both emigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles.
Padilla grew up in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles and attended San Fernando High School.
Alex Padilla will be California’s next state US Senator[/caption]
Padilla will be the first Latino in California’s history to serve the role[/caption]
In 1994, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A year later, Padilla began his career in politics as a member of the Democratic Party, as a personal assistant to California Senator Dianne Feinstein.
His career in politics continued as a campaign manager for Assemblyman Tony Cardenas in 1996, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo in 1997 and State Senator Richard Alarcon in 1997.
In July 1999, at the age of 26, Padilla was sworn in as a member of the Los Angeles City Council, and two years later his colleagues elected him council president.
After retiring as president of the LA City Council, Padilla was elected as California’s state senate in 2006, defeating libertarian Pamela Brown in the race.
He was re-elected in 2010, after defeating Republican Kathleen Evans.
In November 2014, Padilla was elected secretary of state after receiving 53% of the votes against Republican Pete Peterson.
When was he appointed US Senator for California?
On December 22, 2020, Padilla was appointed US Senator for California by Governor Newsom.
Padilla will be the first Latino in the state’s history to serve the role.
“I can think of no one better to represent the state of California as our next United States Senator,” Newsom said to Padilla in a video conversation.
In a tribute to his parents, Padilla choked up when speaking to Newsom saying he would “absolutely” accept the position.
“I’m honored, man, and I’m humbled, because of them,” Padilla said.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced Padilla will fill in the role of US Senate for California on December 22, 2020[/caption]
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Who was the US Senator for California before Padilla?
Vice President-elect Harris represented California in the US Senate until August 2020, when Joe Biden announced her as his vice president.
Harris served the role since her November 2016 election victory over Loretta Sanchez.