California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has appointed Alex Padilla, California’s Democratic secretary of state, to fill the United States Senate seat being vacated by Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris.
Padilla, 47, holds a mechanical engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Techology. He will serve the remainder of Harris’s term, which expires in 2022. Newsom is also up for reelection that same year.
Newsom made the announcement on Tuesday morning via Twitter,
“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,” wrote Newsom. “I can think of no one better to represent the state of California as our next United States Senator.”
Newsom’s tweet also contained a video recorded late Monday night of the governor offering Padilla, the son of Mexican immigrants, the opportunity to become the first Latino to represent the Golden State in the Senate.
“Can you imagine what what mom would be thinking now as I ask you if you want to be the next US Senator of the United States from the great state of California?” Newsom asked.
“You serious?” Padilla replied.
“This is the official – this is the ask, brother,” Newsom beamed.
“I’m honored, man, and I’m humbled because of them,” said Padilla, holding back tears. “I can’t tell you how many pancakes my dad flipped or eggs he’s scrambled trying to provide for us, or the many, many years of my mom cleaning houses, doing the same thing. That’s why I try so hard to make sure that our democracy is as inclusive in California as we’ve built. And it’s a hell of an important perspective to bring to Washington,” he added.
“You’re gonna have that chance, Alex. I’m honored. You gotta say yes though, man,” Newsom quipped.
“Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely,” Padilla said. “I just want to say thank you, and please know that I will make you proud and make California proud by getting it done in the US Senate. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m ready. I’m ready.”
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.
I can think of no one better to represent the state of California as our next United States Senator. pic.twitter.com/xiAzpTS42Y
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 22, 2020
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.