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California Governor Picks Alex Padilla to Fill Kamala Harris's Senate Seat


FILE - California Secretary of State Alex Padilla speaks by video feed during the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Aug. 20, 2020.

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday appointed California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the senate seat of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris through 2022.

His appointment will make him the Golden State’s first Latino senator.

In what initially appeared to be a check-in video call, Newsom and Padilla briefly talked about their children and Padilla’s immigrant parents before the governor surprised Padilla with what he called “the official ask.”

FILE - California Gov. Gavin Newsom gestures during a news conference in Rancho Cordova, Calif., April 14, 2020.
FILE - California Gov. Gavin Newsom gestures during a news conference in Rancho Cordova, Calif., April 14, 2020.

“Can you imagine what Mom would be thinking now if I asked you if you want to be the next U.S. senator of the United States of the great state of California?” Newson said.

Padilla, 47, became emotional before responding, “I’m honored, man. And I’m humbled,” he said.

In a separate tweet after the announcement, Padilla vowed to “work each and every day to honor that trust and deliver for all Californians.”

Padilla began his political career as an aide to California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein before serving as Los Angeles City Council president and a state senator. He has been secretary of state since 2015.

His parents emigrated from Mexico and met and married in Los Angeles, Padilla said in the video. His mother died in 2018.

In a tweet that accompanied the video, Newsom said Padilla's “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. I can think of no one better to represent the state of California as our next United States Senator.”

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