FILE – In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla talks during a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, as the state’s next U.S. senator to fill the seat being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed Secretary of State Alex Padilla as the state’s next U.S. senator. He will fill the seat being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Padilla is the child of Mexican immigrants and will be California’s first Latino senator. His appointment gives a new level of representation to the demographic group that makes up nearly 40% of the state’s population. Padilla has been California’s top elections official since 2015. In that position, he’s overseen California’s vast elections apparatus, including the rollout of a more robust vote-by-mail system.
By KATHLEEN RONAYNE