California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom announced his pick to fill the Senate seat vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Tuesday, claiming that he is making history by naming the first Latino senator in the state’s history.
Newsom announced that he has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the Senate seat, according to Fox News.
“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.
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“Now, he will serve in the halls of our nation’s Capitol as California’s next United States Senator, the first Latino to hold this office,” he added.
Padilla launched his political career in 1999 as a member of the Los Angeles City Council, which he served on until 2006. He then served as a California state senator from 2006 to 2014, before becoming the California secretary of state in 2015.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust placed in me by Governor Newsom, and I intend to work each and every day to honor that trust and deliver for all Californians,” Padilla said.
Newsom’s pick is somewhat controversial given the fact that Republicans on the House Oversight and House Administration Committees demanded answers from Padilla regarding a “highly questionable” $35 million contract his office awarded to a firm linked to the Biden campaign, claiming it was a “misuse of taxpayer money and a violation of the law.”
Some leftists may not be pleased with Newsom’s decision either, as many had called on him to select a black woman.
“I will tell you that I do believe that there should be an African American woman in the Congress,” Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., told FOX 11 earlier this month. “When Sen. Harris is sworn in as the vice president, there will be one African American Democrat, one African American Republican, no African American women.”