The bottom line is it’s not going to happen as Newsom has selected the state’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill Harris’ US Senate seat. Newsom and Padilla made the announcement on Tuesday.
Padilla will be the first-ever Latino to represent California in the US Senate. He will serve out the rest of Harris’ term, which is set to expire in 2022, at which point he will have the option to run for a full term.
California is one of 37 US states in which governors fill a US Senate vacancy by appointment, while 13 states require a special election to fill a Senate vacancy, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. Five states, not including California, require the governor to appoint a person of the same party.
In addition to Harris, Biden also tapped another California statewide official, Attorney General Xavier Beccera, to serve as his nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
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
For those unfamiliar with Padilla, he has a long career in politics, starting out as a Los Angeles City Councilman in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including a stint as City Council President, and then serving in the California State Senate before being elected as Secretary of State in 2014.
In that office, he has served as the state’s chief election official, in addition to overseeing notaries, business registrations, and official campaign finance and lobbying disclosures.
“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. 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,” Newsom said in a statement.