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Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Resigns Her Senate Seat

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris waves near her husband, Doug Emhoff, as they volunteer at Martha's Table on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Washington, Jan. 18, 2021.

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has formally resigned her Senate seat in preparation for her inauguration on Wednesday alongside President-elect Joe Biden.

Harris had served as a senator representing the Western state of California since 2017.

"Thank you California — it has been an honor serving as your senator for the past four years. Our country has faced many challenges, but I remain certain that our best days are ahead. I promise to keep standing up for our shared values as your Vice President,” Harris said in a tweet Monday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom chose fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, who is currently California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term. Newsom announced his choice in December.

Padilla, who is Mexican American, will be the first Latino senator to represent the state.

Harris did not give a farewell speech on the Senate floor. The chamber is not scheduled to reconvene until Tuesday, the eve of Inauguration Day.

As vice president, Harris will become the Senate's presiding officer. With the Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, her ability to cast tie-breaking votes could be crucial for Democrats to pass their legislative agenda.

In an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle, Harris made note of the fact that she will continue to have a role in the Senate.

“And this is not goodbye. As I resign from the Senate, I am preparing to take an oath that would have me preside over it,” she wrote. “As senator-turned-Vice-President Walter Mondale once pointed out, the vice presidency is the only office in our government that ‘belongs to both the executive branch and the legislative branch.’ A responsibility made greater with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.”

Harris is the first woman ever elected vice president. She will also be the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent to serve in the role.